Supply chain shortages affecting school lunch products


CHARLESTON, CO., S.C. (WCBD) – As the nation continues to deal with a supply chain crisis, Charleston County School District officials said they are seeing its effects in their cafeterias. They said they are working ahead of the issue.

Walter Campbell is the Executive Director of Nutrition Services at CCSD. He said products like plastic utensils, chicken, and turkey are hard to come by right now.

The district has had to purchase 1,000 cases of plastic forks from online retailer Amazon because their distributor is completely out.

Campbell said instead of eliminating products, they have had to substitute them. For example, he said certain pizza products have been gone, but they are still able to serve pizza in general. It just depends on which manufacturer has it.

Campbell said instead of turkey, they have served chicken drumsticks, which have been a hit among students.

CCSD officials told News 2, the supply chain issues started back in the summer due to labor shortages at the manufacturers and distributors.

However, they want parents to know, there is no shortage of food for the students.

“Do we have products in our school so we can serve lunch? Absolutely,” said Campbell. “Our participation is up, for breakfast and for lunch, about 10%. We’re still able to keep up with that and I don’t see any reason why we can’t.”

Campbell said he is in close contact with the manufacturers and distributors every day so the district can adjust their menus accordingly.

 The Nutrition Director said some of the products aren’t expected to come back until 2022, but the district will continue to look for the best options to serve the kids.

As for the Berkeley County School District, officials said they have experienced these issues as well. Similar to CCSD, officials said they have had to substitute certain items, but they are still able to provide meals to students daily.

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