Choosy corrections dept. chooses cheaper PB & Jby Dara Kam | November 24th, 2009
The peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that are a staple of state prisoners’ diet aren’t just nutritionally filling.
They’re also saving money and jobs, according to the Department of Corrections.
DOC officials came to the rescue of Tampa peanut butter manufacturer Ernest Turbeville, whose business was flailing when he sent an e-mail to Gov. Charlie Crist earlier this year.
Turbeville was unsuccessful in getting DOC’s food vendor to contract with his Sunshine Peanut Company.
By the time he wrote to Crist in March, DOC had already fired its vendors and taken food service back in-house.
Turbeville said he could keep the 14 workers at the Jackonsville-based company on the job for about three weeks.
The agency signed on with Turbeville, according to a press release issued by DOC this morning, and saved the state $200,000 by buying the peanut butter from him.
Now they’re buying apple and grape jelly from Turbeville, saving another $34,000 a year, according to DOC.
As of October, Turbeville hired four more workers in addition to the 14 employees he didn’t have to lay off, according to the release.
DOC has been on the defensive about de-privatizing its food services. Some lawmakers, including House Criminal and Civil Justice Appropriations Chairwoman Sandy Adams, are questioning whether DOC is actually saving money by doing the work in-house.