Parents in the state of Alabama are being asked to feed their children breakfast before school or send them to school with their breakfast and lunch due to food shortages throughout the school districts.
According to WSFA News, The Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE) advised that every district in the state is experiencing food supply shortages. Food and items like chicken, milk, utensils, and trays are running low. This shortage has affected roughly 687,000 children who depend on schools for meals.
Many schools across the state are trying to adapt.
The Child Nutrition Director for Elmore County Schools, Cayce Davis, stated the following:
“We’re just being creative and doing the best we can.”
“We’ve realigned our menu, changed what we’re planning for the next week, (and) tried to order product from different distributors.”
“We’ve just tried to be creative and think outside the box. Actually, one of the trays we are using right now is a meat foam tray from the grocery store that they package meat on, but it’s great for kids to put their food items on and carry to the table.”
The number of food truck delivery drivers, cafeteria, and kitchen staff is also low. Davis stated that the child nutrition team in her district was down 10-15% due to health or family issues. And according to federal data, more than three-quarters of district leaders and principals are experiencing shortages for teaching, transportation, cafeteria, facilities, and other positions.
In a Facebook post, Alexander City Schools gave the following statement:
Alexander City Schools, like many schools across the nation, is experiencing supply chain issues with our food vendors. As you know, breakfast and lunch is served daily in our schools. In previous weeks we have not received our food deliveries due to suppliers who are short on supplies, drivers and even warehouse employees. We have taken action to open accounts with other vendors in an attempt to diversify our supply options. Breakfast may be impacted more so than lunch in the coming weeks. If possible, we ask that you feed your student breakfast prior to school or try to send a snack. Some of you have noticed our menus have not been updated regularly. When supplies do arrive, we do not always receive what we have requested; therefore altering the menus. This is a situation that is frustrating for you as a parent, and for us as well as our ability to feed our students is being greatly impacted.
Please know we will continue to update you as we work to resolve this issue.
The United States Department of Agriculture did announce that they will invest $1.5 billion to help the schools, but how those funds will be allocated has yet to be announced.
As a last result, the school districts are suggesting virtual/remote learning a few days out of the week to slow down the shortage, but many fear that students who depend on school meals will go hungry at home. So they are continuing the search for alternatives until things pick back up.
Until Next Time…
Photo Credit: NOQ Report
Bowerman, A. (2021, September 28). Alabama schools facing ‘unprecedented’ food shortage. WSFA 12 News. Retrieved October 21, 2021, from https://www.wsfa.com/2021/09/28/alabama-schools-facing-unprecedented-food-shortage/.
Crain, T. P., & Tryens-Fernandes, S. (2021, October 16). Alabama school food shortages continue, state working on it ‘every day.’ AL. Retrieved October 21, 2021, from https://www.al.com/educationlab/2021/10/alabama-schools-working-on-food-supply-issues-every-day.html.
Savannah Tryens-Fernandes. (2021, October 11). Alabama school district warns of food shortages, asks for parent help after deliveries fail. AL. Retrieved October 21, 2021, from https://www.al.com/news/2021/10/alabama-school-district-warns-of-food-shortages-asks-for-parent-help-after-deliveries-fail.html.