UPDATE: Michigan cuts short prison food contract with Aramark

UPDATE 1:20 p.m. – In an interview with 6 News Brom Stibitz, chief deputy director of DTMB and Department of Corrections Director Heidi Washington, said Aramark had approached the DOB earlier this spring about changing the existing contract. The two said Aramark wanted to change how they billed the state and they wanted to make changes to the menu.

As a result of those talks the State and Aramark mutually decided to end the contract early. That decision was reached this past Friday.

The state reached out to Florida-based Trinity Services to see if the company was still interested to placing a bid with the state. Trinity had been a finalist when Aramark won the contract in 2013. This new contract is for 3-years and will be finalized Tuesday by the State Administrative Board. Trinity only operates in prisons and they provide services in 44 other states.

6 News was told that the transition will begin immediately and should be completed by September 9. Trinity is reaching out to current Aramark staff to see if they are interested is staying in place as Trinity employees.

Aramark will work with Trinity during the transition process.

We’ll have more on today’s announcement online and tonight on 6 News at 5.

UPDATE 11:45 – Aramark has issued a statement regarding its contract with the Michigan Department of Corrections. The statement said, in part, “Regrettably, the partnership with the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) has not worked out as both sides hoped, and that is disappointing. We are proud to have served the state during a major groundbreaking shift to privatization and delivering on our commitments to serve 65 million meals in MDOC facilities and save Michigan taxpayers more than $25 million. We take full responsibility for all aspects of our performance while operating in a highly charged political environment that included repeated false claims. Ultimately, we were unable to resolve a number of shared issues and as a result we mutually agreed with MDOC to end the contract.”

The statement went on to say that Aramark is committed to working MDOC and their new provider to ensure a smooth transition.

UPDATE: Michigan prison facilities will begin transitioning to a new food service provider this month under an agreement reached between the state of Michigan and Trinity Services Group.

The determination follows a mutual agreement between current food service provider Aramark, and the Michigan Departments of Technology, Management & Budget and Corrections to end their current relationship.

LANSING, Mich. (AP) – Michigan cuts short prison food contract with Aramark after problems, moves to another company.
This story is developing and we’ll have updates online and on 6 News at Noon.

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