School cafeterias around the Coast growing short on supplies

Due to labor shortages delaying shipments nationwide, school cafeterias are growing short on food and supplies.

Despite the shortage, cafeteria workers and nutritionists are inventing new ways to feed students.

Gulfport High School is running out of plastic forks. The cause is a cascading effect that reaches all the way to labor shortages in shipping yards, interrupting supply chains across the U.S. Cafeteria workers on the Coast have had to make do with substituting ingredients at times, but students are still eating. Sarah Crenshaw, child nutrition director at the Gulfport School District, tells News 25 the district has been shoring up its supplies in response. “We’re ordering things we really don’t need and we’re cramped for space, but we are making space to make sure that we’re over-supplied with things.”

Clairdene Sherrod, who manages the Gulfport High cafeteria, had to create an alternative to meatball subs when she learned some ingredients were unavailable. “So, what I did was, I used what they sent me and then I improvised and made barbecue hamburgers. So, I’m still in the same family with the meatballs.”

School district representatives say they can guarantee a hot meal for every student each afternoon. “We’re just trying to make sure that we’re getting ahead of it and ordering everything we know we need on a daily or weekly basis.”

“And with the shortages — there are some shortages — we are maintaining to continue to feed the kids.”

The school district will continue outsourcing its ingredients from local suppliers.

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