Supply chain issues causing issues for Michigan summer lunch programs

“Products are not in stock”
Supply chain issues causing issues for Michigan summer lunch programs
Published: May. 31, 2022 at 5:16 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - A lot of families here in Mid-Michigan count on school lunches, even during summer break, but disruptions in the supply chain may threaten those programs.

Background: Mid-Michigan school districts make sure students stay fed during summer break

Products are not in stock, and if they are in stock, they’re still not being delivered on schedule. That’s an issue that many summer food service programs are dealing with.

“I expect that we will see that some of our summer food programs may not be able to put together what is considered a complete meal,” said Diane Golzynski, the director at the Office of Health and Nutrition Services for Michigan.

In addition to not knowing when or if products like fruits and vegetables will be delivered, Golzynski said some suppliers no longer want to do business with schools because they feel it’s not profitable.

“Aunt Millie’s is one who supplied a number of our bread products, our whole grain bread products, for school and summer food service programs and they have chosen to leave the market,” said Golzynski.

The Director of Food Services at Holt Public Schools (HPS), Evan Robertson, said they are concerned as well. They will have a mobile bus that provides meals but you have to eat onsite. Right now, HPS said they are having trouble finding disposables and other products kids need for portable food options.

“If we have to we’ll even go to like Sam’s Club, Costco, BJ’s -- the big box stores, of course -- to buy things if we have to. We’ll get creative if we needed to. We try to have a menu,” said Robertson.

Both programs said they are stocking items in advance and will be looking into alternative options such as: different suppliers, different brands and creative meals that offer full nutrition.

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