Supply Chain Shortages

Coyote Corner – Supply Chain Shortages

Greetings residents of Grant County.  I wanted to inform you that schools are facing an unprecedented problem and it is not COVID.  Nationwide we are experiencing extreme shortages in our supply chains for food distribution.  This shortage is coming from a lack of workers to deliver, prepare, and ship goods.  As a result of these shortages, a major vendor for schools has discontinued its contract with the state.  The state went into emergency procurement to secure another supplier for foods and was unable to even get a bid.  This is particularly troublesome for those schools in the eastern part of the state, as they are struggling to even find a supplier.  Fortunately for us, we are receiving supplies and have vendors, but we are far from untouched.

What this means is that schools will no longer be able to lock in prices for commodities and will be paying the same market prices as everyone else.  This means the cost to provide school lunches will increase.  While the USDA is providing free school lunches, it is reimbursed at a set level.  If schools are forced to go outside state bidding systems to provide lunch to their students, they will not be able to produce lunch at the cost it takes to provide that lunch.

This also means you can expect changes in the meal patterns here at school.  Items on the menu may have to change based on the availability of the product.  While we plan to continue providing balanced meal options for students, they are unlikely to exactly follow the meal pattern requirements of typical school years.  To be clear, we may have to make due with the resources available to us.

South 40 Beef

South 40 Beef

Those of you who grow produce locally are encouraged to reach out to the school.  Since produce does not have to be USDA approved, we are able to buy directly from farmers here in Grant County.  We will also be working with South 40 Beef in Mott to purchase meat directly from our local ranchers to make sure we are able to continue to provide high-quality protein to our students. Please contact the school if you are interested in selling food items to the school for our lunch program.  Keep in mind any meat products have to be USDA-approved which is why we will be working with South 40 Beef. We are very grateful for their partnership.

A special thanks to Mona Hands who is working with the school’s current suppliers to provide lunches to our students.  We are fortunate they are continuing to sell to the school district, but they are not guaranteeing the sort of prices we have come to expect.  Even with these supplies, we are still subject to product shortages as they affect our vendors.  Please be patient as lunches may have to change on short notice.

While we continue to face unprecedented challenges, it only continues to be true that we can either chose to make each other stronger or let these challenges wear us down.  I believe we are Pack Strong and that we can make our school and community stronger and that our school and community can make us stronger.  I know we have people out there that will step up in these unusual times and that we will persevere in the end.  Calm seas never made a skilled sailor, and we will become skilled in these waters.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *