The same number of districts contracted out for food services in 2016 as they did in 2015, but the percentage of districts contracting out ticked upwards from 42.6 percent to 42.7 percent. The 0.1 percentage point increase in contracting out this service comes from reduction in the number of school districts in the state due to the consolidation of Albion Public Schools into Marshall Public Schools.

There were three districts that contracted out food services in 2016 and three districts that brought food services back in house.

Calumet-Laurium-Keweenaw Public Schools, Carson City-Crystal Area Schools and Ellsworth Community Schools started new food service contracts, with Calumet-Laurium-Keweenaw and Carson City-Crystal Area reporting savings through their new contracts.

Chippewa Valley Schools brought food services back in house because the leased employees whom they worked with retired. Richmond Community Schools was happy with their leased employees and decided to put them on the district payroll. Armada Area Schools brought their food service manager in house, reporting that it was more cost effective.

In 2003, food service was the most frequently contracted out service in Michigan public schools, with 27.3 percent of districts using private firms. This has grown steadily over time, but not as rapidly as custodial or transportation services.

Graphic 2: Food Service Contracting, 2003, 2005-2016

Graphic 1

Graphic 3: Districts With New Food Services Contracts

Graphic 3