MIDDLEBURG — Complaints about the food Aramark has been serving Snyder County inmates has led the county to sign a meal service contract with a new company.

The commissioners approved on Tuesday a two-year contract with Summit, beginning Jan. 1, which will have the South Dakota-based company providing meals for 100 to 109 inmates at a cost of $5.11 per meal.

Another company, Trinity, had offered to provide meals at 11 cents less, but county Solicitor Robert Cravitz said Summit’s proposal for service and food quality was better.

“We definitely want to go with higher quality,” said Warden Scott Robinson.

The county had contracted with Aramark since 2009, but Robinson said the company’s service, food quality and quantity has been poor and led to many inmate and staff complaints.

Cravitz said Robinson’s recommendation to sign a contract with Summit “addresses concerns of inmates and staff.”

The county currently pays less than $4 per meal with Aramark, but Robinson said their costs are expected to rise in 2023.

The county commissioners also approved charging Northumberland County between $72 to $77 per day for housing its inmates from other counties at the Snyder County jail.

The higher fee is for inmates that need to be kept in a restricted housing unit due to disciplinary reasons.

The Snyder County prison outside of Selinsgrove houses about 110 inmates, including about 40 from Northumberland County where the prison is dealing with a severe staff shortage.

Snyder County commissioners took action Tuesday to sever its contract with food vendor Aramark after failing to reach an agreement over a dispute about the service at Snyder County Prison.

The county last year extended Aramark’s food service contract for three years.

However, like many other companies, Aramark has had staffing and supply issues that have impacted the service at the jail, Commissioner Adam Ewig said.

Despite several discussions, Cravitz said, the company was unable to address the problems.

On Tuesday, the commissioners voted to notify Aramark they will terminate the contract on Jan. 1, 2023.

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