The Warren County Jail will soon be taking advantage of the power of volume buying.
The Warren County Prison Board approved a motion Tuesday to sign on Trinity Services Group of Middletown as its food purchasing agent.
The company has claimed that it can save the county money on food. According to County Commissioner Stephen Vanco, the county would save "50 cents on the dollar" on some meats.
To provide this service, Trinity charges a $200 per week fee.
Most board members were confident the advertised cost savings would more than overcome the fee.
"Let's go with the program... if they can't save us money, we walk away," Commissioner John Eggleston said.
"See if there's any savings," Commissioner John Bortz said. "You hear a story, you go in with a degree of faith and see..."
Vanco said the company offers similar services in Crawford County and the commissioners there are pleased with the results.
Sheriff Ken Klakamp voted against the measure because he had not seen the documentation.
Bortz provided Klakamp with the documents after the meeting.
The average cost of food for a jail meal is $1.35.
With a population of about 130, at three meals a day, that's $526.50 a day, or $3,685.50 a week, in food for jail inmates.
"If we save 10 cents a meal, it doesn't take long to make up that $200," Vanco said. "I can't believe we wouldn't save some money."
A 10-cent per meal savings would yield a savings of $273 per week.
Vanco said Trinity already works with companies that provide the jail's current food supply. "We'd still be giving local businesses business," he said.
According to the proposal from Trinity, "The plan is designed to leave the operation of your food service in the capable hands of your food service staff."
The plan involves no changes to the jail's staff.
Trinity offers a plan in which the company handles food preparation as well as purchasing.