Suffolk Public Schools facing food supply chain issues

Schoolchildren enjoying their lunch in a school cafeteria
Posted at 11:12 PM, Oct 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-27 23:12:37-04

SUFFOLK, Va. - Suffolk Public Schools, like many other schools across the country, is experiencing food supply chain issues.

In an alert posted to the district's website Wednesday, school officials said SPS' Food and Nutrition Services Department is experiencing challenges receiving some food items for school meals due to supply chain issues and staffing shortages among food vendors. They say in some cases, delivery trucks are delayed days at a time.

While the district hasn't run out of food at any of its schools this school year, school officials say they are beginning to see the effects of the supply chain issue for some of their more popular items.

Despite this, students can still choose between at least two to three menu selections for breakfast and lunch, including a hot and cold item for their main entrée. Meals may be subject to change depending on meal substitutions.

School officials say they've asked their leading supplier to ensure their quality control operations are up to the school district's standards and have notified cafeteria staff to check every item leaving the cafeteria.

Smart Mouth Pizza is the most popular item on the menu at high schools throughout the city, and school cafeterias serve it every day. Cafeteria staff prepare up to 650 pizzas a day.

Because in some cases the pizza sells out every day due to high demand, SPS has increased its production by buying more pizza pans (200 per school) and have received a quote on new double ovens to increase production capacity.

The district says it will continue to make serving students healthy and nutritious meals a priority, and it is working on more solutions if these issues should continue.

If you have any questions or concerns, you can contact the Food and Nutrition Services Department directly at 757-925-5789.

Related: How local school cafeterias are adjusting to supply chain issues