When the kids arrive back at school Monday in San Francisco after their winter break, fresher new food will be awaiting them for breakfast, lunch and snacks.
The district’s new contract with Oakland’s Revolution Foods survived a legal challenge Friday that sought to keep the old food provider in place.
In October, the San Francisco Unified School District put out a bid for a new meal provider. At the time, officials said they hoped to find a company that would serve meals that were not prepared, frozen and then reheated. Preferred Meals Systems cooked its food at locations in the Midwest before shipping the frozen food to a local distribution center.
In late November, the district said it had selected Revolution Foods as the new provider for the roughly 35,000 meals served daily. The contract is worth about $9 million per year. But Preferred Meals Systems, the district’s food provider since 2003, challenged Revolution Foods’ ability to provide the meals, arguing that the company did not have any contracts as large as the district’s.
In San Francisco Superior Court on Friday, attorneys for Preferred Meal Systems complained that the district had unfairly allowed Revolution Foods to modify its bid by providing extra documentation about how it would handle the food contract. But attorneys for the district and Revolution Foods argued that the company had a right to defend itself against the allegations leveled by its predecessor.
Judge Marla Miller agreed, ruling that the Board of Education was right in approving the contract in December.
Preferred Meals Systems said in a statement that it was “extremely disappointed” by the ruling. The company said it is still deciding whether it will appeal the decision.
Meanwhile, an attorney for the school district said the ruling clears the way for the new food to arrive at schools Monday.
“This will allow us to go forward with the new food services contract without a legal cloud hanging over our heads,” said Cassie Coleman, senior deputy general counsel for the district.