{Washington City Paper} Chartwells Era Ends As DCPS Selects New Food Providers

Farewell, Chartwells.

The school-food provider at the heart of a whistleblower lawsuit in 2015 that revealed substandard food quality and fraud will not serve D.C. Public Schools students next academic year. DCPS announced in a statement on Friday that it has chosen DC Central Kitchen and SodexoMagic, with Revolution Foods as a subcontractor, to provide meals at more than 110 facilities.

"We look forward to working with these organizations to provide students with high-quality and healthy food options," DCPS said, noting that the D.C. Council and Office of the Attorney General must still review the new contracts in the coming weeks.

The announcement follows a request for proposals DCPS posted in December, featuring a one year contract with four options years to renew. Still, which entities applied for the RFP won't be publicly available until the contracts are approved because of procurement rules. Under the proposal, 12 schools in Ward 7 would be served by DC Central Kitchen, while the rest would be served by SodexoMagic and Revolution Foods. DC Central and Revolutionserved hundreds of thousands of meals last year.

In a statement on Monday, Sodexo and Revolution said their partnership with DCPS "would provide an innovative program that will bring cutting edge-food concepts, state-of-the-art menu creation and adherence to the highest nutrition standards," come August. But as Jeffrey Anderson reported, the former "settled a $20 million False Claims Act case in New York in 2010 and repeatedly has sustained findings of spoiled or expired food and employee safety violations in various states since 2010."

It was not immediately clear how much DCPS has proposed awarding the three contractors for their services. The system has more than 48,000 students.

One company which was left out in the process was Genuine Foods, run by Jeff Mills, the former DCPS food chief who blew the whistle on Chartwells. 

By Andrew Glambrone for the Washington City Paper