MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — Food distribution challenges nationwide are now having a direct impact on Alabama school lunchrooms.
According to the Alabama State Department of Education, every school district has been affected by food supply shortages, affecting 687,000 students statewide.
“So, it’s not necessarily a food shortage. It’s a supply chain disruption in which drivers who would be responsible for getting food to one place or the other may or may not be available,” said Michael Sibley, director of communications with ALSDE.
To help school, the USDA granted Alabama a waiver to allow child nutrition directors to change up what they might normally serve.
“That flexibility includes being able to put a school lunch together that may not look like the school website,” Sibley said.
Sonja Anthony, director of child nutrition for Jefferson County Schools, said it hasn’t always been the best designed meals, but students still got fed.
“We have not had any instances other than on where may have misplaced something with an item that was not as appealing. That happened to be one day when we had grilled cheese and turnip greens,” Anthony said.
Sibley said the problem of shortages seems to be easing up, but there are still concerns.
The USDA has also granted states more money to help pay for increased supply costs for food.