Plymouth-Canton, Livonia consider food service merger

PLYMOUTH, Mich. — Plymouth-Canton Community Schools may take over food service operations in Livonia Public Schools, a move that officials said could help the districts save money through combined purchases and might mean extra funding from the state, according to the Livonia Observer.

While Plymouth-Canton would manage the joint program, Livonia food service employees would be retained, according to Lisa Abbey, Livonia’s director of business services, the Observer reported.

Livonia officials anticipate that Plymouth-Canton’s involvement would boost lunch sales; although the districts are of similar size, Plymouth-Canton sells about 10,000 lunches daily compared to 4,000 in Livonia, according to the Observer.

Still, Livonia’s food program is self-supporting, with a surplus of $50,000 to $150,000 each year, Abbey said, according to the Observer. If higher sales resulted in additional revenue, some costs in the general fund could be covered by food service income, she said, the Observer reported.

Plymouth-Canton returned to an in-house food service operation two years ago, ending a 20-year relationship with the private firm Sodexo, the Observer reported.

The state has pledged extra per-pupil funding to districts that follow four of five “best practices,” among them consolidating services with other entities.


Livonia Observer, “Plymouth-Canton District considering food service merger with Livonia,” July 31, 2011


Michigan Capitol Confidential, “Extra K-12 Cash to Be Tied to Mandatory Health Care Cost Sharing and Other Reforms,” May 22, 2011