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Food shortage impacting local school lunches

 

September 28, 2021 – The Nutrition Group, which manages lunchrooms in six states and in 22 Valley schools, said the food shortage is a result of the labor shortage; one shortage leading to another, making it a lot harder to write up school lunch menus.

The service industry continues to see a food shortage and the school lunch cafeteria is not immune.

“I talked to just about every superintendent in the county yesterday,” Dr. Traci Hostetler, Superintendent of the Educational Service Center of Eastern Ohio said, “And I also talked to several in Columbiana County, and every single one of them said they’re experiencing this shortage.”

Food service directors report shortages of pepperoni, chicken, bread and pizza dough among others.

“We never really know if it’s going to be available,” Mahoning County Career and Technical Center Food Service Director Jennifer Schiraldi said, “Sometimes I will place an order, and it says it’s in stock, and then my order ship goes up and…out of stock.”

While pepperoni is totally out of the mix for now, kids are still getting most backlogged items because schools like MCCTC that feed over 500 students said they are making it work by switching to available brands or whipping up something new.

“Instead of pepperoni on our pizza, we’ve been doing bbq chicken pizza, or buffalo chicken pizza,” Schiraldi said.

The Nutrition Group, which manages lunchrooms in six states and in 22 Valley schools, said the food shortage is a result of the labor shortage; one shortage leading to another, making it a lot harder to write up school lunch menus.

“It all goes back to the labor,” Kevin Rindock, The Nutrition Group Vice President of K12 said, “Whether it be the truck drivers, getting the food from the manufacturers to the distributors, or getting the food from the distributors to the school districts…that seems to be our biggest challenges.”

Rindock said he does not see the problem going away for “quite a few months.”

“The issues we’re facing with the food shortages is something we’ve never seen nor did we expect it,” he said.

The Nutrition Group which manages lunchrooms in six states and 22 Valley schools – says the food shortage is a result of the labor shortage. One shortage leading to another – making it a lot harder to write up school lunch menus.

View this full article at WFMJ.com >>