Boston schools award record $17M food service contract to Black-owned business

BOSTON — The Boston Public Schools on Tuesday announced a record $17 million food service contract with City Fresh Foods to provide breakfast, lunch, after-school meals, snacks and summer meals to the city’s schools.

The contract is the largest non-construction contract the city has awarded to a Black-owned business.

All meals will be made fresh with nutritious ingredients, including locally sourced food, in City Fresh’s Roxbury production facility.

“Transformative change for BPS starts with the everyday experiences of our students, and this new contract ensures every child will have access to nutritious foods to energize and nourish them through the day,” Boston Mayor Michelle Wu said in a statement. “We’re proud to partner with a local, Roxbury-based, Black-owned business to deliver for our young people.”

City Fresh Foods will design menus that ensure high quality and nutrient-rich meals for nearly 50,000 public school students. The team includes a registered dietician to analyze the nutritional value of all meals, as well as mechanisms to monitor student participation and minimize food waste. The business will also draw on a range of menu options to create culturally relevant meals.

“At City Fresh we believe that everyone deserves access to nutritious and delicious food, and we are thrilled to partner with the Boston Public Schools to deliver great tasting meals to the public school community of Boston,” Sheldon Lloyd, Co-Founder and CEO of City Fresh Foods, said in a statement. “Many of our employees, including me, have children in Boston Public Schools and we are deeply committed to further supporting our communities where we work, learn and live to simultaneously provide quality meals and support our local economy. We are grateful to the Wu Administration and Boston Public Schools for their partnership and look forward to getting started this summer.”

The new contract builds on recent investments to renovate Boston school kitchens to enable on-site scratch cooking.

In awarding its latest vended meals contract, the city focused on maximizing the quality of the meals and finding a vendor who would collaborate on new and innovative ways to provide meal service.

An evaluation committee drawn from school and city staff unanimously recommended that City Fresh be awarded the contract based on its operational strength, its commitment to reducing the use of processed foods and its dedication to Boston’s local neighborhoods.

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