Horry County Schools lunches impacted by supply chain issues

Grand Strand

HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — Supply chain disruptions are taking a toll on schools throughout the country and Horry County is noticing it firsthand when it comes to school lunches.

When it comes to feeding the thousands of students, that’s not a problem. However certain food items are not being delivered, causing a shift in day-to-day lunches.

“As we start to see little issues pop up, we’ll have to make some operational adjustments and so that’s certainly what we’re doing when it comes to food,” said Lisa Bourcier, a spokesperson for the district.

It’s a national issue many schools are facing — much of it tied to the pandemic. Supply chain disruptions are preventing certain food items from making it to the cafeteria.

“We’re certainly seeing a food supply distribution issue throughout our school district and that’s just not Horry County Schools, we’re seeing it across the state and across our nation,” Bourcier said.

Bourcier said because of COVID-19, manufacturing facilities closed and employees were laid off. This caused issues with food distribution and drivers. She said it’s not so much a shortage of food, but rather substituting out certain products they can’t get in.

“Sometimes our pre-published menus may alter slightly when certain food items we can’t get in, but we try to substitute as similar as we can to that food item for our students,” she said.

Due to COVID-19, students were eating in the classroom, but the supply chain issues now affect paper and Styrofoam causing more change for the district.

“We did have an option from the very beginning for principals to decide whether or not they would like to utilize their cafeterias but because of the Styrofoam and paper shortages we are now starting to have to migrate to the cafeteria,” Bourcier said.

Over the next few weeks the district will begin to implement the hard plastic trays students are normally used to. Bourcier said it’s all about making those operational adjustments to keep the district running smoothly.

“I think creativity throughout COVID has been something that school districts have been able to accomplish very well, so this is no different,” she said.

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