Jasper schools struggle to maintain lunches amid food shortage
JASPER, Ind. (WFIE) - Greater Jasper Consolidated Schools have been dealing with food shortages, which continues to make filling school lunches difficult.
Food Services Director Katie Sherman says the troubles first began around late March, when shipments of food started getting delayed or wouldn’t arrive.
“There were days where we weren’t certain that we were going to have food at all to serve,” she said.
On the worst days, they would rely on sales people to take food in their own cars.
“Right now, things are so bad that that’s not even happening,” Sherman said.
Without this food, the school can’t feed the kids at all because national standards say they can only serve certain foods that meet nutritional requirements.
“We can’t just run to the store and just grab whatever’s on the shelf and remain compliant,” Sherman explained.
On days where there hasn’t been a new shipment, school officials had to move their meal schedule around and use what food they have ready from later dates.
Sherman says trying to fill freezers with backup supplies is just as difficult because they’re not able to fill those orders either.
So far, she’s been told the shortages are caused by a lack of delivery drivers and a crippled production process.
“Manufacturers, because of social distancing, quarantines, employment issues, they’re just not producing as much as they did before,” Sherman said.
National rules state that Greater Jasper Schools need to have food for their students anytime there’s learning happening in the building.
If school officials can’t provide that, they’re not sure what they’ll have to do.
“I know in the past, closing school has been something that’s been thought of,” Sherman said.
It’s unknown how long the shortage will last.
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