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SFUSD Shares Intent to Offer New Meals Contract to Revolution Foods, Inc.

Press Release 

November 30, 2012 (San Francisco) – Today the San Francisco Unified School District notified Revolution Foods, Inc. of its intent to award the company a contract to begin providing school meals at 114 schools starting on January 7, 2013 - the first day of the second semester. 

Revolution Foods was selected because it was the lowest bidder to meet the guidelines set forth in the invitation for bid, which included meeting or exceeding USDA nutrition requirements and supporting SFUSD’s sustainability and waste-reduction goals.  The award of the bid and contract to Revolution Foods, Inc. will come before the Board of Education on December 11, 2012. 

“Serving fresh healthy food every day that students will enjoy eating is a priority for us.  It is hard for students to learn if they are undernourished.  To strengthen academic performance we must promote good eating habits and provide access to high quality, nutritious food that appeals to our diverse community of students,” says Superintendent Richard A. Carranza. 

The superintendent’s comments reflect the Board of Education’s long standing commitment to providing all students with healthy, nutritious meals and promoting wellness.  For example, the Board’s Feeding Every Hungry Child resolution passed in 2009 ensures that no child is denied a meal because of inability to pay, and SFUSD’s Student Nutrition and Physical Activity Policy passed in 2003 removed high-calorie, low-nutrient food and beverages from a la carte offerings and school vending machines.

“We want to build on our longstanding commitment to serving nutritious meals while continuing to improve what we offer to our students,” says Ed Wilkins, Director of Student Nutrition Services for SFUSD. “I look forward to working with a locally based food vendor that is providing freshly prepared meals for our students that are healthy and tasty, and that offer the opportunity to provide local and sustainable foods.”

SFUSD’s Student Nutrition Services (SNS) department operates the largest public food service program in San Francisco, serving 33,000 meals and snacks each day (5,500 breakfasts, 21,500 lunches, and 6,000 snacks) at 114 schools.   Last year, 61% of the children in San Francisco public schools were qualified for free or reduced-priced meals.  

The meal contract with Revolution Foods, Inc. would cost SFUSD an estimated $9 million annually.

SFUSD’s Invitation for Bid

As a public agency, under California Public Contract Code a contract of this sort has to go to bid and be awarded to the lowest bidder that meets the requirements set forth in an Invitation for Bid (IFB).

On October 9, 2012 SFUSD issued an Invitation for Bid (IFB) for meal services, essentially seeking a meal vendor to provide prepared meals that comply with USDA and IFB guidelines. 

  • To ensure access to the highest quality meal options for our students, the IFB included USDA nutritional guidelines that required all bidders to ensure “all meals furnished meet or exceed the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) requirements under the Healthy Hunger Free Kids’ Act (HHFKA)”, and requirements that all meals are freshly prepared and not frozen.  Bidders were required to submit detailed proposed menus and nutritional analyses demonstrating compliance with these guidelines.  Each bidder was to meet all requirements and do so at the bidder’s lowest price.
  • To support SFUSD’s sustainability goals to increase the use of sustainably produced, locally grown products, the IFB required bidders to provide detailed information regarding the sourcing of all meal ingredients, and to note at least one week prior to the delivery of meals to SFSUD whether meal ingredients do or do not come from locally-grown and sustainably produced foods.

  • In support of SFUSD’s commitment to San Francisco’s goals to achieve Zero Waste by 2020, bidders were asked to provide prices for normal and zero-waste packaging and utensils. 
  • To ensure the bidder with the lowest price could offer acceptable food, the IFB process included a Community Tasting Panel.  With representatives from the Student Advisory Council, the Parent Advisory Council, and the Board of Education’s Food and Fitness Committee, a panel of students, parents, principals, community members, and staff from Student Nutrition Services participated in a taste test to assess meals from all bidders for the (1) appearance of the food, (2) taste/texture of the food, and (3) overall appeal of the food.  The Community Tasting Panel did not compare meal offerings – they assessed the meal that was before them by its own merits.

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Page updated on 11/30/12