Food shortages are altering the way cafeterias serve lunch

Schools across the country are feeling the effects of shortages

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI)- From household supplies to food to manufacturing parts; businesses are dealing with shortages all across the country, and it’s trickled down into school cafeterias. Schools across the country are feeling the effects of shortages.  Columbus Municipal School District leaders knew those problems would happen at some point, so they had a plan in place.

“We’re still serving from our serving line as well we have some to come into the cafeteria and we have some that we feed in the classroom. They’ll come into the cafeteria and pick up their to-go trays and then they’ll go back to the classroom,” said Columbus Middle School’s food service manager Rosean Roberts.

Child nutrition director for the school district, Mia

Johnson said they get their food in from different vendors, but even the vendors are having problems fulfilling orders.

“They don’t have the people actually to work now. They have a shortage of people working so that causes shortages back to us back down the line and also our major problem is like transportation,” said Johnson.

The district publicizes a full menu of what students will eat monthly.  To stay on top of keeping food in stock Johnson said she pre-ordered months’ worth of food and place them in freezers so they won’t have to rely on going to local stores.

“We have freezers already with food in it and you know we’re already ahead of the game as far as inventory and storage. and we look at each item and make sure every time we order every week we look at each item to make sure we have inventory at the right point to say we have extra,” said Johnson.

Certain days get certain foods, but if a specific food isn’t in on time to be made that day; they will substitute to try and make it as close to what they’re missing.

“They’re giving us the option of taking chicken tenders in the place of hot wings and then the chicken tenders start getting a little lower then they told us we had to do nuggets or bites. So the vendors are out there trying to find substitutions for those items,” said Johnson.

Columbus Municipal School District feeds roughly just over 3,000 students. Johnson said they don’t foresee food issues to get to a point where they can’t control it and will continue to feed the students twice a day.

Categories: Local News