Michigan is allegedly parting ways with prison food vendor Aramark by “mutual agreement” and moving to a new contractor, Trinity Services Group, the state announced today.
According to Lansing State Journal, a transition will begin on July 29 for a new contractor to provide prison food to inmates on Sept. 9 — that’s “three months shy of the two-year mark of Aramark’s three-year, $145-million contract with the state of Michigan.”
Why is the State of Michigan ending its contract with Aramark?
The Free Press, using the Freedom of Information Act and other sources, has documented a wide range of issues with the prison food service since Aramark became the prison food vender nearly two years ago. Here are some of the reported allegations:
- Issues have ranged from meal shortages to maggots in the kitchen
- Smuggling of drugs and other contraband by Aramark employees
- Aramark workers engaging in sex acts with prisoners
- Close to 200 Aramark workers have been terminated and banned from prison property for a range of transgressions.
What other states rely on Aramark to provide prison food and do they face similar problems? Detroit News reports multiple facilities in Ohio also experienced food shortages, unauthorized food substitutions, and maggots in food.
According to Aramark’s website, the company has claimed to have “retained 97% of our correctional facilities clients in over 35 years of service.” Aside from prisons and correctional facilities, they also service food to:
- Colleges & Universities
- K-12 Schools & Districts
- Hospitals & Healthcare Facilities
- Stadiums, Arenas & Amphitheaters
- Destinations & Cultural Attractions
- Workplaces & Manufacturing Facilities
- Convention Centers
- Conference Centers
- Remote Workplaces
Slightly coincidental, President Obama will be taking his first ever presidential trip to a prison, and is apparently the first sitting president to do so (wonder if he’ll be brave enough to try the food!):
Wouldn’t you want to know if your kids’ school relied on Aramark for food services? Sound off below!