Supply chain issues affecting LCPS

Published 8:00 am Thursday, December 30, 2021

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The supply chain issues affecting the nation have hit home in Lunenburg.

Lunenburg County Public Schools (LCPS) are having ongoing issues with food supplies for students; however that has not stopped the district from continuing to provide meals.

“We are still having supplies issues, and we don’t feel that this will change anytime soon,” said LCPS Family Engagement and Public Relations Coordinator Meri Page Spencer.

Supply chain issues nationwide have been blamed on congestion at the ports, lack of truck drivers and shipping containers.

“Our food services coordinator and our head custodian drove to our distributor to pick up food when there were no delivery drivers,” said Spencer. “We will continue to do whatever we need to do to feed our students.”

Spencer said school menus have changed frequently based on what is available.

According to the USDA, schools served close to 500 million lunches on average per month from September 2018 to May 2019. That number declined during the pandemic of the 2020-21 school year to about 330 million lunches per month.

To help school districts, the USDA announced Dec. 17 that it would invest up to $1.5 billion in school meals programs during supply chain issues.

The funds will be made available through USDA’s Commodity Credit Corporation.

The funds will be broken into three parts: $1 billion for schools to purchase food for their meal programs; another $300 million for states to buy foods to be distributed to schools; and an additional $200 million will be used for cooperative agreements to purchase local foods for schools.

According to the USDA, funds are expected to help up to 100,000 schools in all 50 states.

The amount of funds school districts will receive will be based on enrollment.

According to LCPS Assistant Superintendent for Operations and Finance James Abernathy, Jr. the district enrollment currently sits at 1508 – down 29 students since the end of the school year in May 2021.