Local school districts face lunch item shortages

As schools prepare to open this fall, local districts are finding they won’t be able to serve certain items during lunch.  

Food suppliers are facing labor shortages and transportation challenges that are adding costs and limiting supplies.  

It’s happening nationwide and as a result school cafeterias are having to change menu choices. 

“Some of the big warehouse products that we bring in large quantities, we would maybe forecast out like two months out, we’re now forecasting five to six months out,” said Michelle Wagner, Child Nutrition Program Director for Bismarck Public Schools.

“We’ll just have to go with what distributors can get us, it might not be the product that they’re always used to, it might be just a different brand name… the biggest thing we want parents to know is that we’re not doing this on purpose that there is, we’re trying and we will have food for kids,” Wagner continued.

Wagner says Bismarck Public Schools will also be checking nutritional labels on products watching for allergens and their nutritional value. 

KX news checked in with Minot Public Schools, and they say they are having the same issue.  

Although districts face a shortage of some items, all students are eligible to receive free school lunch for the 2021-2022 academic year, regardless of their income through the USDA’s universal lunch waiver program.

Vaccine efforts

To boost vaccination rates, President Joe Biden is calling on “state, territorial, and local governments” to provide $100 payments to newly vaccinated Americans as part of an extra incentive. 

Biden says states and localities can use money from his COVID relief law to pay for the incentive programs otherwise known as the American Rescue Plan.  

Biden announces federal worker vaccine mandate, calls on states to offer $100 for vaccinations

Biden also announced that millions of federal workers must show proof they have received a COVID vaccine or submit to regular testing and strict social distancing, masking, and travel restrictions.