PARMA, Ohio – Due to labor shortages and supply chain issues, school districts continue to scramble to try and get enough food and supplies for their students.
Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has extended its free breakfast and lunch for students until the end of this school year.
“We have experienced shortages on many items such as bread, grains and some chicken products,” said Parma’s food and nutrition supervisor Bob Gorman.
In addition to the lack of supplies, Gorman said the cost of available supplies was far from their pre-pandemic prices.
“The costs have increased dramatically,” he said.
Over the past month, on the Bedford City School District website, a letter greets visitors, detailing the “long and unpredictable road ahead” when it comes to ordering and getting the right variety of food. for kids.
“I used to really enjoy menu planning,” said Jennifer Dickson, Nutrition Supervisor. “It was fun. It got really tough.
District school leaders explained that they had seen their midday meals more than double for September and October 2020 and 2021.
“Over time the numbers increase,” Dickson added. “Our staff is not increasing. We use more and more [food and supplies.] It has certainly been a struggle.
As a result, Gorman told News 5 how the Parma City School District continues to fall back on locally sourced fruits and vegetables from across the state and looking for creative ways to meet their demand.
“One school can have a chicken patty, another chicken nuggets, another a chicken finger, another a burger that day,” he explained. “It was really hit and miss on the menu with what we actually serve. “
Both school districts also told us that they also face staffing shortages in their cafeterias.
To apply for a vacant position in the Bedford City School District, Click here.
To apply for a vacant position in the Parma City School District, Click here.