MN schools are struggling to feed students in the midst of supply chaos, labor shortages

  • Some school districts in Minnesota are struggling to get enough food, The Star Tribune reported.
  • Their provider terminated its contract due to the supply chain and working conditions, according to The Tribune.
  • Districts said they were forced to switch between temporary providers to close the gap.

School districts in northwestern Minnesota are struggling to feed their students after their provider terminated its contract due to chaos in the supply chain and labor shortages, according to a report by The Star Tribune.

Food distributor Cash-Wa terminated its contract with the Lakes Country Service Cooperative, which supplies 57 school districts, earlier this month after giving notice in September, The Tribune reported.

“It’s kind of like each district for itself right now,” said Jeremy Olson, superintendent of Crookston Public Schools. “It’s week to week whether we can get food or not.”

He said the district switched between temporary providers to get food “where we can.”

Krystal Boyd, director of food service at Perham-Dent Public Schools, said it used two temporary providers because neither of them had food or delivery drivers to supply the district alone, The Tribune reported.

She said its schools once had to throw out more than 250 servings of food after being forced to turn to different brands, which she said did not taste so good.

“It’s just been a headache for food service executives up here,” Boyd said.

The Minnesota Department of Education told The Tribune that it had an emergency contract with a trucking company to supply some U.S. Department of Agriculture raw materials to the districts. It said that the cooperative was looking for a new food provider, but that no one had searched.

Cash-Wa, the Minnesota Department of Education, and LCSC did not immediately respond to an Insider request for comments made outside of business hours.

Record numbers of Americans quit their jobs in search of better wages, benefits and working conditions – including truck drivers. This has led to chaos across the supply chain, affecting products from freezers to Coca-Cola.

Some schools have been forced to take care of their own care, e.g. a school principal in Philadelphia who ordered pizza for 400 students after the food service staff did not show up.

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