A fish sandwich lunch for DCPS, courtesy of partner DC Central Kitchen.

A fish sandwich lunch for DCPS, courtesy of partner DC Central Kitchen.

In 2008, D.C. Public Schools switched to a completely privatized food services program. At the time, the District believed doing so would save money, but less than ten years later, a new report from the city auditor’s office finds that cost benefits have fallen short of expectations. Instead, the report recommends that D.C. Public Schools take back control over its food services and make meals in-house. Taking that step will require surpassing several bureaucratic and funding hurdles, including, perhaps most significantly, resistant city leadership. Kojo explores whether DCPS should start making its own lunch.


  • Mike Curtin Chief Executive Officer, D.C. Central Kitchen, The Campus Kitchens Project
  • Kathleen Patterson Auditor, District of Columbia
  • Betti Wiggins Executive Director, Office of Food Services, Detroit Public Schools; Former Food Services Director, District of Columbia Public Schools

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