UF Business Services announced recently it will break off its 13-year contract with Aramark to hire Chartwells Higher Education to handle all on-campus food services, including catering, residential, retail and athletic dining., The new provider is set to take over July 1. The group, formed in 2020 by students and local activists, called on the university to award its new contract to a provider that does not rely on prison labor contracts or commit wage violations scandals Aramark has been criticized for. The current provider, Aramark, is deeply embedded in the prison-industrial complex. Criminal Justice Transformation Committee, Our White Paper on Court Services: A Program in Despair. Due to the complete institutional disregard for tangible change, the students of the University of Florida will be engaging in a boycott of the food services within the student union until the following demands have been met. Aramark alleged the UF employee, who they say oversaw evaluation committee meetings, would announce his prejudice against Aramark in front of those involved with contract decision-making. The University of Florida must swiftly move to disassociate itself from the prison-industrial complex, starting with the demands in this letter. When she isnt taking photos or doing homework, you might find her painting, watching TikTok, or practicing her embroidery. We echo their demands. The current food service provider, Aramark, has a despicable history of human rights violations and prison slavery exploitation. Aramark has since withdrawn the protest.. gainesville General Membership Meetings are usually the fourth Tuesday of each month, at 6:00PM via Zoom. UF officials believed Chartwells proposal was most aligned with UFs vision for campus dining, Rodriguez wrote. The current food contracting practices that the University of Florida engages in do not reflect any such values. On June 18th, 2020, in response to national outcries regarding systemic racism in our country, President Fuchs made a public statement to the UF community that included promises and outlined steps the university is taking to battle racism. The current provider, Aramark, is deeply embedded in the prison-industrial complex. Follow him on Twitter @fernfigue. The Independent Florida Alligator has been independent of the university since 1971, your donation today could help #SaveStudentNewsrooms. He said he is still disappointed by unethical practices at Chartwells parent company, the Compass Group. The University of Florida should not be proud of its top 10 public school ranking until it cuts financial and professional ties with human rights abusers, including but not limited to prisons and those who partner with them. The transition means 949 Aramark workers, including 515 students, will be laid off in late June. Aramark representatives included a document that shows Canteen, a vending services division of Compass Group USA, entered a contract with the Orange County Board of Commissioners to provide vending machines for its corrections department. Map updates are paused. The Food Justice League is demanding that UF Business Services and the Committee responsible for review of UFs food service contract add several protections and conditions for its next food service vendor, including a $15 minimum hourly wage for all UF contracted employees; union neutrality clauses; a commitment to decreasing greenhouse gas emissions; justice for farm workers, farmers, and food system workers; an increase in local sourcing of food products; and concrete accountability measures.

. While one step towards food justice is celebrated, the University of Floridas contract with Aramark ignores its despicable track record of human rights abuses that include exploitation of prison slavery and poor treatment of workers. more. Aramark presently operates in 600+ prisons that collectively incarcerate 300,000 people (AFSC 2019). The contract was signed in Sept. 2017 and remains in effect until Sept. 26, 2022.. If you are a resident of another country or region, please select the appropriate version of Tripadvisor for your country or region in the drop-down menu. An employee prepares a cheeseburger at The Fresh Food Company. The University of Florida cannot claim to represent values such as justice and progress without acting to make the institution a more just place. Furthermore, Aramark has a record of human rights abuses that includes the exploitation of enslaved prison labor (Ruelas et al. It is unclear if all Aramark positions will be offered with Chartwells.. Contract negotiations between Chartwells and UF have not been finalized, but UF has advertised renovations and expanded local partnerships under Chartwells.

Chartwells proposed Sonnys BBQ, Lukes New York Bagel Shop and Satchel's Pizza become permanent campus fixtures. certification standard, and participation in a third party measurement and verification process. The proposal, which has not been officially approved, shows the Broward Dining Center may transform into 1853: A Florida Food Hall Experience. Gator Corner Dining Center could become the Gator Den and serve fresh produce and protein from local farms including Traders Hill Farms, Frog Song Organics and Fisher Farms., Chartwells hopes to bring a teaching kitchen to campus, which would focus on educational food classes and nutrition literacy.. UF students refuse to support such a company any longer. Aramark did not provide additional facts or evidence to support the allegations and subsequently withdrew its protest.. Today, your students continue having to work overtime to hold you accountable to your principles. Contact Julia at cooperjarin@ufl.edu. They provide food services to over 600 prisons, serving food that is unfit for consumption, exploiting nearly free prison labor, and earning themselves, UF students refuse to support such a company any longer. Contact Fernando at ffigueroa@alligator.org. Sign the petition, and send the letter to the administrators. It called for a quasi-judicial hearing to overturn the decision. Their demands are an end to the universitys support of prison labor exploitation, a $15 minimum wage for all employees under the contract, a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, more local food sourcing, more purchases under the Good Food Purchasing Program certification standard, and participation in a third party measurement and verification process.

The university based its decision on several criteria including funding, sustainability, involvement in the prison service industry, and diversity and inclusion policies, staffing and improvement plans.. The chosen vendor shall not be in any way tiedmonetarily or otherwiseto the prison-industrial complex. UF officials say they stand by their decision to choose Chartwells as the universitys next dining provider., Following the selection, Aramark filed a protest in which it made numerous allegations, Assistant Vice President for Business Services Eddie Daniels wrote in an email. Their demands are an end to the universitys support of prison labor exploitation, a $15 minimum wage for all employees under the contract, a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, more local food sourcing, more purchases under the. The University of Florida is a powerful institution that strives to be an example in the state of Florida and nationwide. In fact, as a first in our industry, Compass Group USA made a conscious decision to divest all remaining interest in its prison services business, Trinity, in 2014..

v. County of Alameda; Mother Jones 2020). Until these demands are met, do not spend any money on food or drink at the Reitz Union. Reitz Union restaurants, including Wing Zone, Pollo Tropical and Papa Johns, may be replaced with alternatives. The upcoming food service contract negotiations are the perfect time for the university to live up to its rhetoric of justice and progress. Aramark declined to comment on the written protest and UF awarding its dining management contract to Chartwells. He disapproved of its service with the oil industry, military bases and correctional facilities outside the U.S. UF cant just buy their way into an ethical food system, Hart said., Chartwells has been criticized in the past for mishandling its accounts, including D.C. Public Schools and its parent companys involvement in the 2013 horsemeat scandal..

Each will be given the opportunity to interview for a position earning equal or better wages than what they earn now, UF business affairs communications manager AnaLee Rodriguez wrote in an email to The Alligator. Ronan Hart, a 21-year-old UF history senior and Food Justice Coalition organizer, said the change is a win for their cause. Furthermore, through these harmful contracts, you make the student body complicit in a harmful system that we do not support. Join Spring team. Aramark alleged a UF employee openly disparaged Aramark and urged its employees to seek employment with Chartwells instead. A document obtained by Food Justice Coalition members and shared with The Alligator details Chartwells proposal. To ensure that the next food service contract is free from the exploitation of prison slave labor, and all labor involved in bringing food to the restaurants and dining halls on campus is compensated fairly, they are boycotting all dining in the Reitz Union. Fernando Figueroa contributed to this report. We want to clarify that Chartwells Higher Education has never managed any food service operations within any correctional facilities, Rosenberg wrote in an email to The Alligator. It also demanded a $15 hourly minimum wage, a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions and an increase in local food sourcing and further transparency measures., Aramark is gone, which is a pretty big part of what we were asking for, Hart said. 949 Aramark workers, including 515 students, will be laid off, UF student arrested on sexual assault, kidnapping charges, SweetBerries ousted from landmark lot, leaving for new locations, Residents protest police brutality after K-9 injured Gainesville man, Jud Fabian drafted 67th by Baltimore Orioles, Infamous TikTok street preacher Sister Cindy returns to UF, draws a crowd of heckling students, UF offers conflicting information on isolation dorms, leaving students frustrated, Staff applications are now open! For the first time in 12 years, the University of Florida is creating a new dining and food services contract. Julia Cooper is a Miami native and second-year Journalism major at UF. The UF community refuses to be pacified by your performative statements. Your students, the state of Florida, and the world are all watching. She is a photographer for The Alligator. About three weeks after UFs procurement website published a document stating the universitys intention to choose Chartwells, Aramark filed a formal written protest to UFs Director of Procurement Nicola Heredia. Aramark alleged Chartwells concealed its parent companys ties to prison service and UF employees unlawfully favored Chartwells during the selection process. Sign the petition, and send the letter to the administrators. To the University of Florida Administration and the Food Service Advisory Committee. Please consider giving today. The Alachua County Labor Coalition (ACLC) is composed of individuals, unions, and worker-friendly organizations committed to the economic, environmental, civil, and social rights of working people, their families, and communities, and to the ecological systems that sustain us. It contains data about Gen Zs dining tendencies from its analytics partner, E15. For the first time in 12 years, the University of Florida is creating a new dining and food services contract. Our current projects include a Living Wage Campaign for Alachua County, Safe and Healthy Housing, Evictions Task Force, UF Safe Reopening Survey, Criminal Justice Committee and our Just Health Care Committee. However, it is plagued by histories of institutional racism that have yet to be substantively reckoned with. Caribbean, Latinx, and Latin American Exchange (CaLLE), Coalition to Abolition Prison Slavery at UF, Farm Worker Association of Florida (FWAF), Interfaith Alliance for Immigrant Justice (IAIJ). They provide food services to over 600 prisons, serving food that is unfit for consumption, exploiting nearly free prison labor, and earning themselves civil rights lawsuits due to their operations. 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Although committees, tasks forces, and goals have been established, little to no changes have been made. To ensure that the next food service contract is free from the exploitation of prison slave labor, and all labor involved in bringing food to the restaurants and dining halls on campus is compensated fairly, they are boycotting all dining in the Reitz Union. President Fuchs declared in the aforementioned statement that The symbolism of inmate labor is incompatible with our university and its principles and therefore this practice will end. Although IFAS has ceased its use of prison slavery at UF facilities thanks to grassroots organizing, the University of Florida is still profiting off of inmate labor as it is intimately tied to the prison-industrial complex via contracting all on-campus food services through Aramark. While Canteen does currently have a contract with the correctional facilities, Chartwells holds no contracts with prisons, according to Courtney Bryant Hill, a Chartwells representative. Until these demands are met, do not spend any money on food or drink at the Reitz Union. Chartwells acknowledged it has fallen short in some instances and assured it has learned from past experiences to properly manage and investigate issues, Meredith Rosenberg, the vice president of communications and creative services for Chartwells, wrote in an email to The Alligator May 4. Follow Julia on Twitter @JuliaArinCooper. Zoom in to see updated info.