Pixel Tracker

Wednesday, March 20 , 2019, 5:37 am | Mostly Cloudy 53º


County Supervisors Approve Jail Food Services Contract

Aramark Correctional Services will provide meals to inmates under a seven-year contract at an annual cost of $1.25 million

Santa Barbara County has entered a seven-year contract with Aramark Correctional Services for food services at the Main Jail for an annual cost of $1.25 million.

Aramark will deliver three meals a day, seven days a week to inmates until 2019, using the existing food services program — with inmate crews preparing the food at the jail — but will bring in food from off-site during kitchen construction next year.

Most of the 1971 facility’s aging sewer system has deteriorated to the point of replacement, including the area underneath the jail’s kitchen. During construction to replace the sewer system, the county has to remodel the kitchen and bring it up to code.

The contract includes a $600,000 investment toward the construction, and will save the county $180,000 a year over its current costs, according to Sheriff’s Department Lt. Mark Mahurin, who spent the better part of a year working on the agreement.

Aramark is an international company that provides food services for correctional facilities, events centers and universities, among other things.

Inmates get three meals a day — at around 3 a.m., 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. — and Aramark also will provide food for the Sheriff’s Department staff at the Main Jail.

“The reality of how we have to run a jail to get everyone where they need to go in a given day means the day starts fairly early,” Mahurin said.

There are about 1,000 inmates at any time, many who have to be transported to Superior Court by 8 a.m. in Santa Barbara, Santa Maria and Lompoc every weekday.

The county Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved the contract, which includes using at least three local vendors: Jordano’s Inc., The Berry Man and Rosemary Farms.

Aramark will oversee the inmate work crews and provide basic food safety and health training.

There will be at least two “spirit-lifter meals” on Thanksgiving and Christmas for inmates, and meals for staff members will “exceed” the inmate meal service, according to the contract.

Costs are broken down to 94 cents per regular inmate meal, $3.22 per special inmate meal and $3.23 per staff meal, for the total of $1.25 million per year, though the cost likely will increase for the construction period when all food has to be delivered service-ready from off-site, Mahurin said.

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Support Noozhawk Today!

Our professional journalists work tirelessly to report on local news so you can be more informed and engaged in your community. This quality, local reporting is free for you to read and share, but it's not free to produce.

You count on us to deliver timely, relevant local news, 24/7. Can we count on you to invest in our newsroom and help secure its future?

We provide special member benefits to show how much we appreciate your support.

I would like give...
Great! You're joining as a Red-Tailed Hawk!
  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.