QUINCY, MASS. (WHDH) - Massachusetts school districts are asking parents to be patient with available meal selections this fall as they scramble to find food for students amid nationwide supply chain shortages.
“It’s definitely a challenge every day and we have to be creative,” said Brian Pappone, Food Services Director for Attleboro Public Schools. “We set a monthly menu and we don’t know what we’re going to see on a daily or weekly basis.”
There have been major shortages in products like meat, cheese, and chicken, according to Pappone.
In some cases, districts are receiving different food as a substitute for what they ordered, because the original order wasn’t available at all or in the quantity they need.
The Quincy Public Schools district is also dealing with food shortages.
“We’re seeing things like a lot of protein products not coming in, juices, fruits, and vegetables,” said Quincy Nutrition Director Sarah Dufour.
Through the first few weeks of the school year, food deliveries to Quincy schools have often been late, according to Dufour.
“It started off as a two or a one day delay. Now we’re up to four days,” Dufour explained.
Dufour recently penned a letter to parents asking them for their understanding.
“We want them to know that there are many factors that are not in our control. The deliveries are not in our control. The staff shortages at the warehouses providing us the food, that’s not in our control,” she said.
Dufour added that the district is currently working to build up a supply of inventory.
“Just be patient with us, we will feed your kids,” Dufour said. “It might change but we’ll still do our best to keep it nutritious and delicious and keep the kids happy.”
State officials say they are looking into possible solutions to address the shortages.
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