BEDFORD, Va – Nationwide supply chain issues continue to threaten local school lunch programs.
For school divisions like Bedford County, having a number of options for breakfast each morning is getting increasingly difficult.
“Items such as waffles and pancakes, we have not been able to get those items for months,” Karen Arthur, school nutrition supervisor with Bedford County Public Schools said.
It’s because of nationwide supply chain issues, which Arthur says have gotten increasingly worse as the year continues on.
“You know, we strive to offer what’s on our menu to our students, but we find ourselves here in a position to have to make more menu changes just to accommodate the out of socks and the substitutions,” Arthur said.
But it’s not just a problem here at home.
Schools nationwide joined a roundtable by No Kid Hungry on Thursday to discuss how the problem can be addressed.
A lack of staffing is also a common factor for both schools and manufacturers.
“Our biggest challenge to date is really sourcing the food that we need for our menus,” School Nutrition Association member Dimitra Barrios said.
School leaders say the upcoming holiday break could help programs catch up over the next few weeks.
“Our main goal is to feed the students in our division we will continue to work hard to do that. School nutrition staff members are working hard I mean, we’re experiencing staff shortages in many of our school cafeterias. And folks are working very hard,” Arthur said.
Schools hope to see the problem resolved sometime in the new year.