Jail meals contract goes to Bim-Bam

Published 9:27 am Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Bim-Bam Burgers and Wings has again been awarded the contract to provide meals for inmates at the Panola County Jail and to operate the commissary there.

This is the third year that Bim-Bam has won the contract. The local restaurant’s bid of $1.34 per meal was chosen by the Panola County Board of Supervisors over the only other bid of $1.95 submitted by Trinity Services Group, a national company that specializes in providing meals and commissary services in correctional facilities.

County administrator Kate Victor told supervisors the jail administrator and sheriff’s department have been satisfied with the meal service provided by Bim-Bam and recommended they accept their bid. Bim-Bam’s bid also included 30 percent of the profits from the jail’s commissary to be paid to the county.

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Trinity’s proposal would be given 40 percent of the commissary funds to the county, but the more than 40 percent savings on the daily meals (over the Trinity bid) made the Bim-Bam bid more attractive, and will save the county more than the extra dollars from commissary profits. The amount of money generated from the inmates’ buying of snacks and drinks various greatly with the number of inmates being housed and what is offered in the small store.

The bid package said the David M. Bryan Justice Complex facility has an daily average of 90-125 inmates per meal, and they must be served three meals each day that meet current RDA requirements. All menus must provide 2,700 calories per day. Food has to be served fresh, in a reasonable variety and at appropriate temperatures. Portion sizes shall be specified on the proposed menus as serving (cooked) weight, the package said.

Inmates can also receive special meals based on religious, medical, or vegetarian needs. Bim-Bam’s employees use the jail’s kitchen for food storage and preparation, and the jail inmates are also used in some areas.

Bim-Bam will also be required to provide sack lunches for any meals that inmates are unable to eat at the regular appointed times. Sack lunches consist of consist of, at minimum, two sandwiches, one piece of fruit, chips or similar item, dessert and a beverage.

Also, as part of the inmate feeding program, Bim-Bam will also be required to provide a minimum of three Holiday/Spirit Lifter meals during the next 12 months.