November 26, 2014


Lundy wants end to private food service contract with state prisons

Matt Lundy

Matt Lundy

State Rep. Matt Lundy, D-Elyria, has called for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections to end its contract with the state’s privately run prison food service staffing company, Aramark Correctional Services.

His request follows a February report in which the DRC indicated that Aramark failed to provide adequate staffing and meet sanitary regulations and dietary needs. Aramark was issued a $142,000 fine from the DRC on Friday as a result.

“DRC’s report reaffirms to many why there was such strong initial opposition, both in the legislature and the general public, to privatizing any part of our publicly run prison system,” Lundy said via a news release. “Instead of giving Aramark another chance to fail and further wasting our taxpayers’ money, DRC should terminate Aramark’s contract effective immediately.”

The DRC indicated that the company could lose its state contract for “persistent defaults,” but DRC spokeswoman Ricky Seyfang said there will be no other action taken at this time.

“The only thing that we have talked about is fining them,” she said, but added that the DRC will take Lundy’s statement into consideration.

Privatization of DRC’s food services was approved during the 2013 state biennial budget process. During that time, Lundy submitted an amendment to the budget process that would have prohibited the privatization of food services at DRC and the Department of Youth Services, but the amendment was tabled with little consideration, according to the news release from Lundy’s office.

“The system was working well before. Once you privatize something, it’s all about profit and not about the quality of services,” Lundy said on Monday.

The DRC’s report indicates that facilities, including Grafton Correctional Institution and Lorain Correctional Institution, have been suffering from under staffing and “unstable” food services.

The report notes that Grafton Correctional was fined for having no food safety certification and also highlights that dozens of Aramark employees have engaged in relationships with inmates, including documented sexual relationships, according to Lundy.

Lundy said data from DRC indicates that there has also been a spike in contraband since Aramark took over food services, including a case where an Aramark employee smuggled heroin into Lorain Correctional Institution.

On Friday, DRC spokeswoman JoEllen Smith said the state believes Aramark is trying to improve things but that changes must be made quickly.

Armark spokeswoman Karen Cutler said the company is delivering on its commitment to save Ohio taxpayers $14 million this year.

“While we have encountered some staffing and operational challenges that are expected with such a large, complex transition, we are working diligently to resolve them,” she said in a statement.

Aramark’s $110 million deal to feed some 50,000 Ohio prisoners began in September and runs through June 30, 2015, with two opportunities to extend.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Contact Chelsea Miller at 329-7123 or Follow her on Twitter @ChelseaMillerCT.

  • Sarah Boesger

    Interesting that this article runs at the same time as an article that states Lorain County families are struggling to eat…

    • Mr. Wonderful

      Do not send them to jail. They will not be fed better.

  • grannyof6

    Aramark food service is horrible, they get away with serving the prisoner’s including juveniles “garbage” food and call it a balanced meal. The kids in “juvey” only eat it if they are really hungry. The staff all bring their lunch. Their servings are small, bland looking and taste gross! They serve “road kill” and call it meat! Matt Lundy has the right idea to end this company’s contract with the state.

    • Mark B

      If you are in Prison that is exactly what you should be eating. But in all honesty this is just a move by Lundy to pay back some union workers for their votes , nothing more .

      • golfingirl

        Are you suggesting a politician has political motivations?

      • Phil Blank

        They are still human beings, convict or not.
        The are doing their time for what they’ve done, and you want to punish them further?

        • golfingirl

          Yes I do!

          They need to do hard time, then maybe they won’t be back.

        • Americaschild

          if any of those prisons beat, stole or hurt one of your family you would say bread and water for them

        • Pablo Jones

          How exactly is it punishing them more? Is there anything wrong nutritionally with the food? Is there anything unhealthy with the food? Bland food is not a punishment, great tasting food should be a reward.

          The irony is, the food isn’t good enough for prisoners, but politicians want to push the same stuff down our kids throats for breakfast, lunch, and dinner all year long.

        • John Davidson

          Punish them to the max and they might not like prison so well. Then they won’t want to come back.

        • Mark B

          Yes I do , I want them to NOT want to re offend. Why is it the taxpayers responsibility to make them comfortable , they committed a crime. The should be on work detail and be made to grow all of their own food.

      • Americaschild

        Agreed bread and water not at taxpayer’s expense. and Lundy mind your own business

    • SniperFire

      If the criminals don’t like the quality of the food service, they should just not leave a tip.

      • golfingirl

        I’ll leave them a tip……stay out of trouble, buy your own food and eat what you want.

    • Pablo Jones

      So are you making a case against them providing food or for them providing food?

    • golfingirl

      Too bad. It sucks being in prison, or the DH doesn’t it?

      The staff brings their own lunch because they have a job and can pay for it!

      If the food is so bad, why do these people keep committing crimes and going back?

      Maybe you can volunteer as a “chef.”

      • stillsleepyeyes

        Because they grew up in a bad environment and didn’t………..blah blah blah……………(sarcasm )

        • golfingirl

          They gave up their right to “mamma’s” home cooking when they broke the law, and probably the heart of their “mamma” as well.

          When I was in college, I lived off Ramen Noodles……Five servings for $1.00!

      • Phil Blank

        Yes, lets get Michael Simon in there to cook thrm a meal and show them just how good it could be, IF you don’t screw-up.

      • Americaschild


      • FoodForThought63

        Rare that I agree with you golfingirl but you are spot on with your comments here. In essence, people make a choice to go to prison. Don’t like the accommodations, then don’t end up there. Simple as that.

    • alreadyfedup1

      Must be following Michelle Obama’s orders under he r “Move It” Mandate.

  • mdr12372

    love Matt Lunday!

    • SniperFire

      3 squares and a cot. What more could you ask?!

      • golfingirl

        Plus a “buddy” to share the cot with.

  • SniperFire

    ‘“The system was working well before. Once you privatize something, it’s all about profit and not about the quality of services,” Lundy said on Monday.’

    LOL. Commie much, Matt? Of course, this idiot probably thought Strickland’s 8 billion budget deficit hole was working well for Ohio, too.

    • Americaschild

      notice lundy just wants his name in the paper cause hes running for office against Tom Williams

    • alreadyfedup1

      (D) Creating union jobs with state bene’s and pension…

  • GreatRedeemer

    This food deal is not a good deal for the taxpayers. You
    wait till the contract is out. The amount of deferred maintenance on equipment
    will pale in comparison to any cost savings. There was little if any employee
    cost savings, I’m sure they were all moved to other positions. Matt has this
    one right.

    • Pablo Jones

      If a contract was written correctly there would be no maintenance issues or quality issue. Because all of the issues people are talking about could be avoided.

      Now from honestly do you think if state workers were running the kitchens they would be taking care of maintenance issues or would run the equipment into the ground before getting it replaced? I’d say they would treat it no better than a private company.

  • John Boy

    If they suck, why not pull the contract and give it to another private company? Why does every democrat think that creating more state jobs is the answer? I’m sure there are other private companies out there who would like to provide this service. I want them to eat the most cost effective meals possible, it is prison not the country club.

    • Nick Mascari

      Democrats think this so they can create more union members, thus more dues to be donated to Democrats.

  • Tom

    I think most people can agree that the government is out of control and has been growing ever larger but privatizing everything isn’t the answer. Take the privatizing of prisons. It was horrific. Imprisoning people so some company can get more money from the government. Yes, the government needs to be reigned in and privatizing some things makes sense. I don’t think that this is one of them.

    • SniperFire

      ‘ Imprisoning people so some company can get more money from the government. ‘

      No different than imprisioning people so that government workers can get more retirement benefits.

      • Tom

        but they aren’t imprisoning people solely for government workers retirements. what else would rather do for people who break the laws? Privatizing prison leads to scenarios like the “Kids for Cash” scandal.

        • SniperFire

          ‘but they aren’t imprisoning people solely for government workers retirements.’

          And they are imprisioning people soley to get more government money.

          Got logic?

      • unclewicked

        Makes sense.

        So, why is it, the commie judges go so easy on the criminals who should be thrown into the bottomless pit of justice?


  • Mark B

    The Sheriff in Arizona has got it right , take notes Lundy ..

    The average meal for an inmate in a Maricopa County jail costs between 15 and 40 cents, according to the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office website.

    In September, Arpaio implemented a vegetarian diet for inmates in an effort to save $100,000 on food costs for prisoners. He also announced in March a plan to charge inmates $1 for their meals, according to ABC15.

    “Everybody else has to pay for their food, why should [inmates] get freebies?” Arpaio said in an ABC15 news video.

  • Donald Duck

    ‘“The system was working well before. Once you privatize something, it’s all about profit and not about the quality of services,” Lundy said on Monday.’ Mr Lundy what type of quality services have you given to us. Maybe as a taxpayer we may want to privatize your job for better results. It may work for the whole country.

    • SniperFire

      ‘ Mr Lundy what type of quality services have you given to us. ‘

      Politicians such as Lundy are driven by the Detroit model of government dependency.

      • golfingirl

        And the result will look like Detroit.

        My bad, already does.

    • golfingirl

      Imagine that, a private company trying to make a profit!

      How disgraceful! I mean, they actually make a profit to stay in business. So selfish of them.

      Unlike the government, who producing nothing, does not have to concern themselves with little things like a budget and waste.

      Sad thing is, these guys continue to be elected. That is the real disgrace.

  • golfingirl

    They can feed the inmates feces for all I care.

    Prison is a punishment, not a vacation.

    Want “fine” dining? Get out of prison, find a job and pay for your own meals…..then you eat what you want! There’s a novel idea.

    Why not “force” the inmates to get off their butts and cook for themselves? They should at least be providing the labor.

    Consider it a small installment on paying their debt to society.

  • Sis Delish

    Two Words: Food Trucks.

    Seems to be working for the Government Employees in Elyria, oops, but its privatized… darn!

    • golfingirl

      And you have to buy their food, they are dreaded capitalists!

      No freebies from the food truck.

  • Phil Blank

    Wasn’t Aramark that was kicked-out of Hopkis airport a few years back?
    Not sure, but think they supplied or provided the in-flight meals

  • Nick Mascari

    Lundy is a flagrant liar. He will promise you something to get your vote and then do the opposite once he has gotten it. Anyone who votes for this guy to be commissioner is a sucker.

    • golfingirl

      Good reference. I usually don’t click on links, but I made an exception this time.

      Worth the read.

  • golfingirl

    He represents Elyria…..Elyria is falling apart….and he is concerned about the menu for the inmates?

    Should rethink his priorities and spend his time where it may make a difference.

    Or has he given up on Elyria, like so many others?

  • Americaschild

    A true democrat getting his nose in business not his! Let the jail run the jail and let Lundy find jobs for Lorain County, reduce taxes, and limit government. Thanks Tom Williams for working to this.

    • Sis Delish

      Defeat Lundy, then present Lundy with an Application to Work in Food Prep for Perps.

      I don’t know anyone who would hire an ex-convict or, for that matter, an ex-legistlator. There are absolutely no job skills which easily transition from convict/legislator into private sector, with the exception of Food Prep or Waste Management.

    • Mark B

      Reduce taxes , now that is something you will never hear a democrat say

  • golfingirl

    Comes out to about $1.11 per meal, if you do the math.

    $110M / 50,000 prisoners/22 months/30 days per month/3 meals per day.

    I doubt a union shop could do it for less.

    Give us your math Lundy! Then double it and we may be close to what it will really cost under your plan.

    • SniperFire

      He of course, won’t give us his math, and the C-T reporter would never dream of challenging the veracity of his drivel before publishing it.

  • golfingirl

    New menu item:

    Every Monday, all inmates get a “Lundy Sundae.”

    Just be careful of that runny brown stuff, may not be chocolate!

    Plus, we can save money by not placing cherries on top. Male inmates don’t eat them anyway. Just throw on a few extra nuts.

  • onesears

    Didnt one inmate try to stave off execution because he was to fat?? Sounds like they are feeding them too well then.

  • Nicholas Lance

    sounds like mre’s could solve this problem :)

    • Joe Smith

      Too expensive, bologna sandwiches everyday

  • JoyceEarly

    This guy will do anything to attempt to look “relevant”. He doesn’t understand the first clue about privatization. It isn’t about profits, it’s about abiding by a contract and then allowing a bid for a new provider if they can’t meet the contract. I wonder how he can be so clueless. Does he actually believe what he’s saying?

    • SniperFire

      Leftists believe very little of what they actually say. They can only exist as a political force by supporting each others constituency 100% without fail.
      Conservatives can disagree, fight and argue about how to best do things, but Leftists must be in goosestep on each and every issue. It is neo-Stalinism, and nothing stands in the way of what they decide is best for the Motherland.

  • golfingirl

    Just throw a bunch of cheeseburgers in the middle of the lunch room and let them fight over them. Strongest survive. Will reduce the inmate population through attrition.

    No workers required to prepare the food, just one person to toss them in.

    Like feeding the animals at the zoo.

  • SniperFire

    Should we really be shocked the criminals are Lundy’s constituency?

  • SniperFire

    What Matt is trying to say is he doesn’t want prisoners to be made to feel like they are in… prison.

  • John Davidson

    It would be best if they just end food in the jails period.

  • CrookedElyriaCops

    i cant believe this story gets this many comments and all you know it all hipocrites totally avoid the crime lab story,,,REALLY???? NO ONE THINKS THAT ONES SCREWED UP??? YOU PEOPLE ARE SO TRANSPARENT!!!!

    • SniperFire

      Please. One ultra-corrupt Democrat at a time.

  • Mark B

    I would vote for Al Bundy , before I would vote for Lundy !!!!

  • Suzan Smith

    Lundy is also wanting taxpayers to spend millions in mass transit so the 10% of Ohioans who don’t own a car can get around!

    • stillsleepyeyes

      More union jobs……………….they fill his pockets………………..

  • SniperFire

    Hey Matt. Meet us at Pudges and Boomers to discuss it.

  • Pro Republican

    Matt Lundy for commisioner. I heck of a good guy. He believes in workers.

    • golfingirl

      No….He believes in UNION workers.