The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Making Money on School Lunches

Aug 3, 2015

The company providing meals in Washington, D.C. public schools has suddenly quit its contract. In June, Chartwells-Thompson agreed to pay more than 19 million dollars to settle claims that it pocketed millions of dollars in kickbacks from big food suppliers like Tyson Chicken and Kraft. This is quite a change from 2008, when Chancellor Michelle Rhee privatized D.C. school cafeterias. At that time she and the company insisted meals would be cheaper and healthier.

Politicians and corporations always say privatizing is better. But providing public services for profit gives companies the incentive to bilk the budget. Corporations try to maximize their profits, which means charging more, getting rid of workers or cutting pay and benefits, or lowering the quality of the products – or all of these.

The same company paid out a similar settlement in New York in 2012. So, what about the other 500 school districts across the country contracting with Chartwells- Thompson, and all the other school districts contracting with other companies?

Profit rules them, too. Food for thought!