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Middle Tennessee school districts feel impact from supply chain issues

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Posted at 4:31 PM, Oct 26, 2021

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Some school districts in Middle Tennessee are feeling the impact of national supply chain issues. It is specifically impacting lunchrooms and what children could be eating for the day.

The Clarksville-Montgomery County School System and Sumner County Schools both have released statements about the problems they are facing.

Both districts said the supply chain is affecting the students' menus.

"While we will continue to provide a healthy meal for your student, we are no longer able to guarantee the accuracy of the online menu. Some food or beverage items normally provided to students may not be available or arrive as scheduled. Due to last-minute menu changes and product substitutions, what is on the menu for breakfast or lunch might not be what is served to students each day. Be assured our cafeterias have enough food in inventory to ensure breakfast and lunch will continue to be served to students," Sumner County Schools said in a statement.

You can find their full statement below:

"Parents,

Sumner County Schools would like to make you aware of some potential changes that may impact breakfast and lunch menus in your school cafeteria.

Supply chain shortages are affecting grocery stores and restaurants across the nation and we as a school district are not immune to those same challenges. While we will continue to provide a healthy meal for your student, we are no longer able to guarantee the accuracy of the online menu. Some food or beverage items normally provided to students may not be available or arrive as scheduled. Due to last minute menu changes and product substitutions, what is on the menu for breakfast or lunch might not be what is served to students each day. Be assured our cafeterias have enough food in inventory to ensure breakfast and lunch will continue to be served to students.

Our nutrition program will be able to continue to serve our students through these supply chain disruptions. We ask for patience and understanding if last-minute changes must be made to the menu. Meals will continue to be free through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for the remainder of the school year."

CMCSS said at the end of last month the shortages are creating unavoidable last-minute menu changes and modifications to trays and utensils. 

"With the shortages, non-conventional meal tray replacements are being implemented such as bagging all items without a tray. Menu selections may be unconventional, such as sides not matching traditionally with entrees or hamburger/hotdog buns being replaced with flatbreads, wraps, or crackers," the district posted on its website. 

CMCSS also mentioned vendor issues as a problem they are facing.

"Although the Child Nutrition Department has contracts with vendors, they are continuously exploring alternative suppliers and options. A major issue is that many vendors are not taking on new high-volume customers as they work to supply their current customers. For some, sourcing can be as simple as going to Kroger if Publix is out something they need. The district serves over 150,000 meals a week, so sourcing locally is generally not a viable option," the district said. 

It comes at a time where the USDA is offering free breakfast and lunches due to the pandemic. Both districts made it clear will still be able to serve the students.