- Associated Press - Saturday, May 21, 2016

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - The University of Mississippi Medical Center plans to hire an outside vendor to handle food services at its three hospitals.

The College Board approved the 5-year, projected $36 million contract with Atlanta-based Morrison Management Specialists on Thursday.

UMMC has been running its own food service on its Jackson campus since 2013, but the medical center says it failed to achieve its goal to improve patient satisfaction. Vendors were providing food at the smaller Grenada and Holmes County hospitals.

All managers and hourly employees in good standing will switch from UMMC employment to Morrison employment beginning in July. Morrison agreed to invest $1.4 million for improvements.

Associated Commissioner John Pearce Jr. says Morrison outbid Aramark for the contract and received better references.

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