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Food Service Vendor, School Year 2023-2024

Food Service Vendor, School Year 2023-2024

1. Introduction

Neighborhood House Charter School (NHCS) in Dorchester, Massachusetts is seeking written proposals from qualified companies for fulfillment of the food service programs at our two campuses (including breakfast, lunch, afterschool snack, and supper). The vendor should have experience with the National School Lunch Programs and Child and Adult Care Food Programs of the USDA, should have experience serving public charter school districts, and should be amenable to shifting needs as our school continues to expand.

One of the first charter schools in Massachusetts, NHCS opened its doors in 1995 to provide a better educational option for low-income Boston families and to incubate and disseminate innovative practices that have the potential to improve public education for all students. Today, more than twenty years later, NHCS serves 800 students in grades preK-12 across two campuses. We are one of the most sought-after public schools in the city, successfully serving a diverse community of children from Dorchester and surrounding Boston neighborhoods. We are currently using City Fresh Foods as our food service vendor for all school meals. Our school currently operates on the Community Eligibility Provision of the NSLP and uses an offer vs. serve platform.

For more information about Neighborhood House Charter School, visit

Specifications and Scope of Work

Below is a table outlining the NHCS campuses locations, enrollments, and meals served

Campus Address | Grades Served | # of students 20-21 | # of students 22-23 | # of students 23-24 | Meals served | Early release day
21 Queen St. Dorchester | K1-7 | 452 | 452 | 452 | Breakfast, Lunch, Afterschool Snack | Wednesday
197 Centre St. Dorchester | 8-12 | 282 | 354 | 354 | Breakfast, Lunch (and exploring CACFP Supper) | Wednesday

NHCS is seeking a three-year contract (with option to renew) covering the following scope of work:

  1. Healthy, delicious, culturally relevant menu options that comply with USDA, NSLP and NSBP for students in all served gradespans. Proposals should include the vendor’s ability to provide a variety of choices: hot and cold, and regular new additions to the menu. The school will allow a combination of bulk and unitized items.
  2. Alternative meals as needed (allergies, religious restrictions).
  3. Deliver meals daily to each site. Student prepackaged meals with single use utensils are served with strict timelines for lunch and breakfast. The vendor will describe in detail the process for breakfast and lunch meal on-time deliveries, any preparation and equipment required. The timing and frequency of milk deliveries should also be included in proposals.
  4. Meal ordering system. Proposals should include the process and frequency for ordering meals. Proposals should include a fixed price per meal listing items that comprise a fixed price meal.
  5. Whether the vendor can provide full on-site service and management. NHCS does not necessarily prefer full-service on-site management but pricing and details should be included if this is a possibility.
  6. Technical support in preparation for and during administrative program reviews by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
  7. Family Engagement. Proposals should describe plans to engage NHCS students and families in the creation of menu options and providing ongoing nutrition education.
  8. Customer Service. Proposals should describe the structure of the team that will provide customer service and include the procedures to handle issues like: late delivery, delivery of meals out of temperature, shorted deliveries, weather event closings, incorrect invoices.
  9. Contract Term. Proposals that will be considered will include a contract term of July 1 – June 30 with annual renewal confirmed in writing by the school by June 30 annually. The school requires invoice terms at a minimum of net 30 days.

2. Evaluation of the Proposals

Proposals: Each proposer must submit a written proposal to this RFP which includes full and clear descriptions of evaluation criteria outlined in Section 5 below. A committee will evaluate each proposal based on these evaluation criteria.

References: References will be contacted to determine if the proposer is qualified. References will be asked about the overall impression of the proposer, quality of work performed, and understanding of factors affecting implementation.

Award of Contract: The Neighborhood House Charter School will award one contract to a qualified proposer. NHCS reserves the right to reject all proposals if it determines that it is in the best interest of NHCS to do so. NHCS need not award the contract to the lowest bidder.

3. Proposal Submission Requirements

  • The Proposals must be submitted by mail and delivered to Neighborhood House Charter School, 197 Centre St, Dorchester, 02124 to the attention of Ricky Grant.
    • Must submit the technical proposal in a sealed envelope.
    • Must submit the price proposal in a sealed envelope.
    • Please provide one thumb drive with both electronic proposals. .
    • All of the above items can arrive in the same package with the sealed envelopes and thumb drive inside.
    • All documents must be submitted by Friday, May 1, 2023
  • A written narrative describing how the proposer meets all of the evaluation criteria in Section 5 below.
  • A list of representative clients for whom the proposer provides or has provided similar services. Please include the name and telephone number of a contact person for each.
  • Brief biographies of key staff who will be assigned to this project, with a description of responsibilities.
  • Live Demonstration / Taste Test. The proposer should work with the Director of Operations to schedule a time for an in-person taste test of menu items and Q&A with students and staff.

4. Evaluation Criteria

The purpose of information requested in this section is to assist the committee in evaluating the proposer’s overall qualifications and ability to successfully perform the services in Section 3 above.

Taste, variety, and quality of food. The proposal and taste tests should demonstrate that the food items will generate high student satisfaction and meal participation.

Ease of use of the systems. The proposal should demonstrate that the ordering, delivery, meal prep, meal service, disposal, invoicing, and issue resolution present a minimal labor burden on NHCS staff.

Pricing. The proposal should clearly describe the pricing model(s) that would be applicable under a three year contract with this scope of work including cost of the meals and any additional equipment and services to be purchased.

Ability to Meet Shifting Demands. The proposal should show how the service options can be modified and customized to tailor to the needs of our school.

Capacity to perform. The proposal should demonstrate the proposer’s capacity to provide the services each day of the school year and provide customer service, technical support, and family engagement based on the proposer’s staffing and resource plan and references from representative clients.

5. Anticipated Schedule

Proposals due: Monday, May 1, 2023
Interviews and taste tests: May 15-19, 2023
Selection: Thursday, June 1, 2023