Okaloosa County Commissioners voted to change the food service provider at the Okaloosa County Jail starting in October. On average, the jail houses 750 inmates and has more than 140 billeted staff members. The county jail will begin work with Summit Food Services, headquartered in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Summit, established in 1991, has contracts with more than 500 correctional facilities around the United States and also serves Bay County, Florida (the Panama City area) and Orleans Parish in Louisiana.
Summit Food Services has a registered dietitian on staff to ensure meals align with current nutritional standards.
Meal costs will range on the jail’s capacity at each meal and decrease in price per meal if there are more inmates. On average, the Okaloosa County Jail has roughly 750 inmates on location, meaning the County would pay about $3,375 per day in meal costs. In the past, the number of inmates in the jail at any given time fluctuated significantly with the seasons.
Furthermore, an option for those requiring kosher meals is available at an additional cost of $3.402 per meal.
There is a chance that the cost of the total number of meals could be more than expected. The average number of inmates in the Okaloosa County jail climbed every year between 2011 and 2019. In 2019, the jail hosted an average of 802 prisoners every night. The jail’s current capacity is 594.
Both staff and inmates will have access to similar food offerings. Additional considerations include providing snacks for pregnant women and youthful offenders, guaranteeing that their dietary needs are appropriately met.
Summit Food Services’ menu will provide inmates with a daily intake of 2,700 calories, ensuring that essential nutritional requirements are met.
Beyond meal provision, the company will also offer vocational training opportunities for inmates, aiming to support their rehabilitation and reintegration into society.
Summit Food Services anticipates serving 821,250 meals annually.
The jail will assign seven inmates to assist with kitchen duties. The use of inmate labor keeps costs low for the County.