By Ramon Lontok
Food Service Company S&B Foods is expected take over LBCC’s Food Court this Summer, after current provider Aramark’s contract to provide food service to the school ends.
Director of public affairs Mark Taylor and director of business support services Margie Padron said S&B Foods is contracted for a three-year term at LBCC, with an option to renew the contract for two additional one-year terms.
Taylor said the LBCC Auxiliary, in coordination with the Purchasing Department, issued a request for proposals from different food vendors in January.
An evaluation committee of students and employees reviewed the proposals from three food vendors and made site visits to the vendors’ facilities. Taylor also added that during the interview process, the three food companies were asked to bring food samples.
“S&B Foods had excellent tasting food, great references and provided the most advantageous proposal for the college,” Taylor said. The food service company will be offering a variety of items from their menu including “breakfast, burgers, vegetarian and many healthy options,” according to school officials. The company also has items made to order such as hand-tossed salads and wraps, sandwiches and individual pizzas, as well as a selection of grab-and-go items, both hot and cold, freshly prepared each day.
Student Trustee Jason Troia said, “The quality of the food will be above the quality given by Aramark.”
Troia also said students should see “a little cost-savings” regarding the prices of the food, with Taylor adding how S&B Foods understands that students have a tight budget and “ therefore its food prices will be affordable.”
S&B Foods, which handles the food services for colleges such as Irvine Valley and El Camino, will provide full service catering for LBCC. According to school officials, the food service company is partnering with The Growing Experience, an urban farm in the Carmelitos housing project in Long Beach that will help grow the school’s fruits and vegetables, which will be included in the food vendor’s specials and salad bar.
“They grow vegetables and fruits year-round using sustainable methods, with no chemical pesticides or synthetic fertilizers,” Taylor said. “It’s a great way to reduce our carbon footprint and support a local farm.”
Troia said S&B Foods only will provide food service at the LAC Viking Food Court because PCC’s is contracted to a food truck catering company. However, Taylor confirmed that the company will be a subcontractor to S&B Foods and is only temporary until the construction of Building GG at the PCC is completed, allowing for a full-service cafeteria operated by S&B Foods.
Jordee Halili, 18, a marine biology major, said she has never paid attention to the cafeteria food and has always bought lunch at nearby restaurants. With a new food service, Halili said she is willing to give the LAC Food Court a second chance.
“With the guaranteed improved quality of this new company, I am willing to try out their food,” Halili said.
“I also think it’s great how LBCC will now be receiving and incorporating fresh-farm produce into their meals, which will undoubtedly change the quality of their food.”