SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WMBD) — Illinois school districts are one step closer to making their own food vendor decisions Friday.
According to a press release from State Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth (D-Peoria), House Bill 4813 passed the house tonight and now heads to the governor’s desk.
The bill would no longer require school districts to accept the lowest bidder for contracts when it comes to food services under the National School Lunch Program.
Gordan-Booth said she spearheaded the initiative after seeing poor-quality food being served in local schools.
“Students deserve to receive healthy, high-quality meals that help them grow and learn,” Gordon-Booth said. “For too long, our laws have locked school districts in a race to the bottom for ‘lowest bidder full service’ contracts that have disproportionately hurt low-income and minority students. Today, we took action to change that.”
The proposal will allow school districts to grade possible food service vendors with a matrix to better evaluate contractors, providing great flexibility to account for food quality, vendor history, and feedback from students and staff.