Food Service RFI and Communications

 East Central Educational Service Center Request for Information

 

Food Services for Member Districts of the East Central Educational Service Center

 

 

RFI Issue Date:

May 11, 2022

 

RFI Deadline – Responses Must Be Received By:

June 3, 2022, at 12:00 PM EST

 

 

 

 

 

Responses may be submitted electronically by emailing to lwilliams@ecesc.k12.in.us or by mail to the East Central Educational Service Center, 705 West 21st Street. Connersville, IN 47331.

Subject line in your email should reference East Central ESC Food Service RFI.


Table of Contents

 

 

 

 

PUBLIC NOTICE......................................................................................................................................... 3

PART I INTRODUCTION............................................................................................................................ 4

A.          Opportunity.................................................................................................................................. 4

B.          Background................................................................................................................................. 4

C.          Description of Current Food Services...................................................................................... 5

D.          RFI Schedule............................................................................................................................... 5

E.         General Provisions...................................................................................................................... 5

PART II REQUESTED INFORMATION..................................................................................................... 6

A.          General Information.................................................................................................................... 6

B.          Feedback Requested.................................................................................................................. 7

PART III INSTRUCTIONS FOR RESPONDENTS..................................................................................... 8

A.          General Instructions................................................................................................................... 8

B.          Submitting the Response........................................................................................................... 8

PART IV REVIEW OF RESPONSES RECEIVED..................................................................................... 9

General Information.................................................................................................................................. 9


PUBLIC NOTICE

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East Central Educational Service Center

Food Services for Member Districts

 

 

East Central Educational Service Center (“ECESC”) is seeking information regarding cafeteria, dietician, and auditing services for member schools of the ECESC.

 

 

A copy of the RFI, as well as the Question & Answer Summary and all other related documents to this RFI, can be obtained at the following website: https://www.ecesc.k12.in.us.

 

Responses must be submitted by 12:00 PM EST, on June 3, 2022.

 

 

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PART I INTRODUCTION

 

A.         Opportunity

 

The purpose of this Request for Information (“RFI”) is to solicit responses for innovative food service models for possibly each of the each of the East Central Educational Service Center member schools located in East Central Indiana. This Request for Information (RFI) is for information gathering and not a formal solicitation to contract for services.

 

The ECESC is seeking submittals from licensed, experienced, responsible and qualified Food Service Dieticians (“Dieticians”) who have a proven history of delivering food services to either public or private sector organizations/companies preferably institutions of K-12 education.

 

The successful candidate will meet the minimum hiring standards for school nutrition directors as set forth by the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) hiring standards. These standards are tiered by school enrollment, thus the successful candidate must meet the standard for the highest tier of 10,000 or more students. The requirements for that tier are as follows:

 

·          Bachelor’s degree with specific major ** OR

·          Bachelor’s degree with any academic major and a State-recognized certificate OR

·          Bachelor’s degree with any academic major and at least 5 years of experience in management of school nutrition programs.

 

The successful candidate will also possess the following certifications:

·          At least 8 hours of food safety training within 5 years prior to the start date or completed within 30 calendar days of the starting date.

·          SNP Directors must obtain food safety certification every 5 years.

 

**Specific major: Academic major or concentration in food and nutrition, food service management, dietetics, family and consumer sciences, nutrition education, culinary arts, business, or a related field.

 

This issuance of this RFI does not constitute a commitment to issue a request for bids/proposals, award a contract, or pay any costs incurred in preparation of a response to this RFI.

 

B.         Background

 

The East Central Educational Service Center (ECESC) was organized in 1987 and became operational in 1988.  The ECESC is one of nine educational service centers in the state of Indiana and is designated as Region 4.  The service area includes fourteen counties: Bartholomew, Decatur, Delaware, Fayette, Franklin, Hancock, Henry, Johnson, Madison, Randolph, Rush, Shelby, Union, and Wayne.  There are 49 eligible public-school corporations within Region 4. Thirty-seven (37) of these corporations have become members and are currently being served by the ECESC. We have additional associate memberships available. Public Law 94, Acts of 1976, provides for the establishment of Educational Service Centers (ESCs) throughout the state of Indiana.  The law includes a directive for the State Board of Education to develop rules and regulations for the organization and operation of ESCs.  The rules were developed in August 1978 (Rule SC1). Educational Service Centers are defined as extended agencies of local public-school corporations. Each Service Center is an administrative and operational unit which serves a specific geographical area, enabling local public-school corporations to voluntarily cooperate and to share programs and services which they individually cannot provide, but collectively may implement. The management and control of the East Central Educational Service Center is vested in a Governing Board and an Executive Board. The Governing Board consists of superintendents or their designees from all member corporations.  The Governing Board selects seven superintendents who serve two-year terms on the Executive Board.  The Executive Boar d meets throughout the year to assure that the needs of the Center are met in an effective and economical manner. The Governing Board and Executive Board provide input on matters relating to the planning, operation, and evaluation of the Center and make recommendations regarding programs and services provided by the ECESC.

C.         Description of Current Food Services

 

This is a new offering for the ECESC and will renew yearly.

 

The ECESC is interested in providing innovative models for Food Service operations while meeting the guidelines provided by the state and federal government. The person(s) will provide general correspondence with member Food Service Directors including email, list-servs and calls.

The ECESC is seeking the new Food Service Program person(s) to begin their operation(s) in the Fall of 2022.

 

 

D.         RFI Schedule

 

RFI Issued

April 1, 2022

Deadline to submit written questions

Friday, April 5, 2022 at 11:59 PM EST

RFI Response Deadline

Friday, April 15, 2022 at

11:59 PM EST

 

ECESC is not responsible for delivery delays, and will not open responses received later than the deadline date and time as put forth in this RFI. Any responses received after 11:59 PM EST on April 15, 2022, will be deemed nonresponsive.

 

Contact Information

Larry Williams, Technology Coordinator, lwilliams@ecesc.k12.in.us

 

E.          General Provisions

 

1.      All contact with the ECESC regarding this RFI must be made through the aforementioned RFI contact person. No other person/employee is empowered to make binding statements regarding this RFI.

 

2.      This is a non-binding Request for Information. Therefore, no award shall be made as a result of the RFI process.

 

3.      Issuance of this RFI does not commit the ECESC to pay any expenses incurred by a Respondent in the preparation of their response to this RFI. This includes attendance at personal interviews or other meetings and software or system demonstrations, where applicable.

 

4.      Issuance of this RFI in no way constitutes a commitment by the ECESC to issue a Request for Proposal (RFP).

 

 

 

5.      All responses should adhere to the instructions and format requests outlined in this RFI and all written supplements and amendments, such as the Summary of Questions and Answers, issued by the ECESC.

 

6.      All applicable laws, whether or not herein contained, shall be included by this reference. It shall be Proposer’s/Vendor’s responsibility to determine the applicability and requirements of any such laws and to abide by them.

 

 

PART II REQUESTED INFORMATION

 

The ECESC seeks information regarding Food Services and welcomes responses to this RFI, including creative suggestions and feedback to enhance and expedite all future processes while providing efficient, reliable, and high-quality outcomes. Respondents are not required to submit responses pertaining to every question, but the ECESC encourages interested parties to respond to any or all relevant aspects of the RFI.

 

The ECESC seeks detailed yet succinct responses that demonstrate the Respondent’s experience and/or familiarity with the subject matter. As this is not a competitive RFP process, Respondents must not provide any specific cost or customized pricing documentation in their response.

A.         General Information

 

Provide a brief overview of yourself and your organization, if applicable.

 

1.      Please identify yourself and any organization you represent in this RFI.

a.      Name of respondent

b.      Organization and affiliation

c.      Address (organizational, if responding on behalf of an entity)

d.      Contact information (phone number(s) and email address)

 

2.      Please identify your experiences in providing Food Services for either public or private sector organizations/companies particularly institutions of K-12 education.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

B.         Feedback Requested

ECESC Food Services provides food, produce, dairy, and bakery bids for each of our member schools. Each school can decide whether they would like to take advantage of the offerings provided. These offerings do not guarantee that a member school will take advantage of the offering set forth here.

We also ask respondents to:

1.      Identify and describe what experience and resources you believe an organization would need to provide the type of comprehensive food services model described above.

 

2.      Identify and describe what would be considered the optimal contractual arrangement between the ECESC and a Food Service Vendor.   Discuss key contracting elements including, for example, length of term, termination provisions, risk/cost sharing, annual percentage commission on sales, different tiers of annual aggregate net sales and any other important provisions.

 

3.      Identify and describe the optimum number of times per year a that you would meet member Food Service Directors to discuss possible ways to make Food Service more profitable while still following state and federal guidelines.

 

4.      Identify and describe information about grant/funding opportunities, contests and other opportunities available.

 

5.      Identify and describe sample school menu suggestions that ensure compliance with federal guidelines.

 

 

 


PART III INSTRUCTIONS FOR RESPONDENTS

         

A.         General Instructions and Question and Answer Summary

 

 

1.         General Instructions

 

a.      It is the responsibility of each interested party to examine the entire RFI and to seek clarification, in writing, if they do not understand any information or instructions.

 

b.      The written questions must be submitted by e-mail to lwilliams@ecesc.k12.in.us and received no later than the date and time specified in the RFI Schedule.

 

c.      Submitted Questions must include the title of the RFI in the subject line of the e-mail. The Department assumes no liability for assuring accurate/complete/on time e-mail transmission and receipt.

 

2.         Question & Answer Summary

 

Responses to all questions will be compiled in writing and posted on the following websites: https://ecesc.k12.in.us. It is the responsibility of all interested parties to go to this website to obtain a copy of the Question & Answer Summary. Only those answers issued in writing on this website will be considered binding.

B.         Submitting the Response

 

1.      Responses Due

Responses must be received by 11:59PM on April 15, 2022.

2.      Delivery Instructions

Responses must be submitted electronically by emailing lwilliams@ecesc.k12.in.us  or by USPS. Subject line in emails should reference Food Services for ECESC.

3.      Response Format

Responses to this RFI may be developed in a manner that suits the respondent. A list of key questions is included within the RFI and all submissions, regardless of format the response will be reviewed. Respondents are asked to be brief and to respond to as many questions as possible within the RFI. Number each response to correspond to the relevant question or instruction of the RFI to allow comparison and clarity.

 

 

 

 

PART IV REVIEW OF RESPONSES RECEIVED

 

General Information

 

1.      The ECESC will review responses received for the purpose of gathering information and market research only. The ECESC will not score, or rate responses received.

 

2.      The ECESC reserves the right to communicate and/or schedule interviews/presentations with Respondents, if needed, to obtain clarification of information contained in the responses received and/or additional information to enhance marketing research efforts.

Please send questions to Larry Williams (lwilliams@ecesc.k12.in.us)

All questions will be posted here with answers for all to see:

Question from a caller: Will this be the only posting for this position?

Answer from the ECESC: Yes, this is the only posting that we will advertise for this position.