At the September 22 Marengo County Board of Education meeting, Child Nutrition Program Director Rita Wright had to scramble to get bids out after the sudden closure of Borden Dairy on September 30, the previous milk provider for the county schools.
During that meeting, Wright said that Marengo County was “in a terrible place” for milk vendors because the closest company was Prairie Farms who has a facility near Mobile, AL. She had sent out bids to Barber Dairies, Prairie Farms, and Louisville Dairy Products to see who would take the bid. Barber Dairies immediately opted out, and Wright did not receive a response from Louisville Dairy Products.
“We were going to be in trouble if we had to switch the shelf-stable milk. But fortunately, we had the bid openings and we got who we wanted to come in,” said Superintendent Luke Hallmark. “We’re fully funded with milk.”
If the district had to resort to shelf-stable milk, it faced the problem of finding a place to store it as a shipment of shelf-stable milk was a “transfer truck load” that would have cost the district an estimated $70,000. There was no additional space at either school, and would have had to be stored somewhere that would make deliveries to the schools difficult.
Prairie Farms provides milk for local grocery stores in Marengo County and the surrounding areas, which makes everything easier for the district. Wright also said that since the county schools are between Thomasville and Demopolis who both have Walmart locations, milk companies have a reason to pass through the area, and can easily make drop offs at the three schools.