SHSU should reconsider their relationship with Aramark

Photo courtesy of Scott Morris

At Sam Houston State University, food services are the most important thing for students during a busy day on campus. To help cater to the student body, the Aramark company has serviced university campus cafeterias for years.

However, besides supplying food to universities, Aramak is one of the largest suppliers of food for some state and county correctional facilities within the United States.

Aramark serves over 400 million prison meals a year, in over 450 different correctional facilities, and has dealt with reports that the food they serve is substandard.

Aramark saying they serve meals may be a stretch as they have had a long history of food quality problems. In 2015, The Cavalier Daily, a student newspaper at the University of Virginia, reported that Aramark had served awful food to prisoners in Michigan that was described as dog food, worms and meal scraps from other meals.

Stories about Aramark go all the way back to 2005 showing that the problem is nothing new. The Private Corrections Working Group (PCWG), an informational group who report the pitfalls of privatization of correctional institutions, has compiled years and years of stories about Aramark’s poor food quality.

This has even happened at Sam Houston State University. There were some incidents of illness in 1998 that may have been due to food poisoning, according to an archived page from an old version of the university’s website.

Functionally, Aramark is an integral part of the prison industry in the United States. However, the university should try to distance themselves from a company that enables the poor treatment of the prison system.

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