Site delivers good deals on grub

Government institutions looking for "red-dot" specials on food items have

helped Direct2Government.com double its business every month since its launch

in the spring.

Direct2Government.com is an online service that helps food manufacturers

target the public sector with excess inventories, special pricing and Internet

exclusives.

Membership in the site is restricted to government-supported institutions

and food manufacturers, growers and packers, said David Fox, president of

the Canoga Park, Calif.-based company.

Direct2Government.com has about 400 government customers, including

the Federal Bureau of Penitentiaries and the states of Ohio and Arkansas.

Well-known food manufacturers such as Chiquita and Hunt-Wesson are among

the site's suppliers, Fox said.

The company manages an electronic catalog of food products, special

deals and other time-limited offers. Buyers can search for what they need

and make purchases with the click of a mouse. The site, which is run by

the national food distributor LA Foods, manages all billing, shipping, logistics

and customer service.

Last month, Direct2Government.com added Dennis Watkins, a former regional

food service administrator for the Federal Bureau of Prisons to its board

of directors. The move is expected to help the company's push into the penal

institution market, Fox said.

The site has been shipping goods since June, and sales have doubled

every month since, Fox said.

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