Supply chain issues leave Alabama public schools without meal services

Southeast

ALEXANDER CITY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama schools are continuing to face food shortages, education officials say.

Disruptions in the workforce needed to serve and deliver meals — along with supplies of food and packaging materials — are behind the shortages, Al.com reported.

State education officials say every school district in Alabama is facing shortages to some degree.

Alexander City Schools recently warned parents that it’s experiencing supply chain issues with its food vendors. In recent weeks, the school system hasn’t received food deliveries due to suppliers who are short on supplies, drivers, and warehouse employees. The school system asked parents to feed breakfast to their students at home, if possible.

In southeast Alabama, Dothan City Schools recently asked parents last month to prepare for a possible shift to remote learning due to their food supply issues.

The state was granted a waiver to allow child nutrition directors to change up what normally might be served, even if not always in the most appetizing ways.

“That happened to be one day when we had grilled cheese and turnip greens,” said Sonja Anthony, Child Nutrition Program Director with Jefferson County Schools.

Despite the challenges, state education leaders say the problem does seem to be improving with extra federal funding from the USDA to help cover increased costs from food suppliers. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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