Roanoke City parents, educators voice concerns about proposed plan to outsource food services

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ROANOKE (WSLS 10) - Roanoke City Public Schools have already outsourced transportation and now food services are on the table.

It's an idea that isn't sitting well with some parents and educators.

During a meeting on Monday, members of the Virginia Education Association and other opponents voiced concerns.

"It's bad for business, bad for the local economy and it's bad for individual employees" said Jeff Pennington, vice president at Virginia Education Association (VEA).

VEA members said they are worried that the proposed plan could negatively impact current employees and local food vendors Roanoke Fruit & Produce Company.

"Concerned that out-sourcing would cut us out of a lot of business" said Fred Najjum, Roanoke Fruit & Produce Company owner. "We are a small family-owned and operated business.It's a concern that it would cut our business".

It's still in the negotiation phase but if the district reaches an agreement with one of the private firms school leaders said they hope to establish a plan to work with current local vendors, ensure quality foods and retain personnel.

The Roanoke City School Board will meet Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at Patrick Henry High School.