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“Why I’m Not” Pro’s and Con’s of Co-Operative Purchasing SNA Child Nutrition Industry Conference January 15, 2008. Kathleen C. Lazor, R.D Director, Div. of Food & Nutrition Services Montgomery County Public Schools Rockville, Maryland.

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“Why I’m Not”Pro’s and Con’s of Co-Operative PurchasingSNA Child Nutrition Industry ConferenceJanuary 15, 2008

Kathleen C. Lazor, R.D

Director, Div. of Food & Nutrition Services

Montgomery County Public Schools

Rockville, Maryland


Montgomery county public schools at a glance
Montgomery County Public Schools at a Glance

  • Total enrollment: 137,745 students

  • MCPS is the 16th largest school system in the U.S. and the largest in Maryland

  • 201 schools

  • FY 2008 budget of $1.9 billion


Division of food nutrition services dfns
Division of Food & Nutrition Services (DFNS)

  • 12 million meals served annually

  • FY 2008 budget = $46.7 million

  • Food and supplies budget = $16.3 million

  • School breakfast, lunch, after-school snacks

  • The Summer Food Service Program

  • Food Distribution Program


Mcps dfns warehouse
MCPS DFNS Warehouse

  • Opened in the early 1980s

  • Refrigerated, frozen and dry storage

    • 22,500 square feet

  • Fleet of refrigerated trucks

  • Ability to receive full truckloads of product

  • Ability to receive product by truck or rail


  • Mcps dfns central production facility
    MCPS DFNS Central Production Facility

    • Opened in the mid 1990s

    • Ingredient control, cook-chill, salad-vegetable prep, bake center, pre-plate assembly

      • 24,000 square feet

    • Bulk purchasing

    • Utilization of USDA commodities


    • Maryland

    • 24 Local Education Agencies (23 counties and Baltimore City)

      • 12 in Central Maryland, which includes the Baltimore/Washington DC area

      • 3 in Western Maryland

      • 9 on the Eastern Shore


    Size purchasing power
    Size = Purchasing Power

    • Line Item vs. Aggregate Awards

    • Aggregate bids

      • Limits the number of vendors for the warehouse

      • Provides consistency among similar type items


    Size purchasing power1
    Size = Purchasing Power

    • Timing of bids

      • Coincide with harvest/pack dates

      • Flexibility with start and end dates

      • Consolidation of bids


    Purchasing co operative not for mcps
    Purchasing Co-Operative—Not for MCPS

    • Cost

    • Autonomy in decision making

    • Product preference

    • Meeting with manufacturer representatives and brokers


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