As they plan to reopen for the next academic year, schools are facing a nationwide shortage of food and other supplies for in-school meals.
Some schools are scrambling to find new suppliers after existing ones gave notice that they will be dropping them. Others are reconciling themselves to limited menu items.
“We haven’t had a 100% head count school season in 15 months. It’s going to blow the doors open,” the CEO of a school foodservice distributor in the Deep South told the Wall Street Journal.
School food suppliers are having the same problems finding supplies and labor as other food processors, which is problematic for popular items like corn dogs and hamburger patties that are relatively labor-intensive. Schools are being advised to consolidate deliveries, speed up payments to make contracts more attractive, and find new ways to use items like chicken and pasta that are in more plentiful supply.