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Nationwide Food and Supply Shortages Impact Cafeteria Menus

September 21, 2021

The CMCSS Child Nutrition Department is being impacted by nationwide food and supply shortages. These shortages are creating unavoidable, last-minute menu changes and modifications to the serving trays and utensils. Menu selections may be further limited or altered. However, please know that students will continue to receive a free breakfast and a free lunch this school year. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we navigate these shortages.

Contact your student’s cafeteria manager with any questions regarding the school menu. For more information about Food Services, visit the Child Nutrition employee page.

 

Update September 29, 2021

During the September 28 CMCSS School Board meeting, Dr. Angela Huff, Interim Director of Schools addressed the board with information concerning the current supply shortage situation. In her remarks, Dr. Huff mentioned the following:

  • Nationwide, high-volume shortages and supply chain disruptions are creating unavoidable, last-minute menu changes and modifications to serving trays and utensils. However, please note that complete, USDA-approved meals are still being served every day at no charge to students.
  • With the shortages, non-conventional meal tray replacements are being implemented such as bagging all items without a tray. Menu selections may be unconventional, such as sides not matching traditionally with entrees or hamburger/hotdog buns being replaced with flatbreads, wraps, or crackers.
  • Although the Child Nutrition Department has contracts with vendors, they are continuously exploring alternative suppliers and options. A major issue is that many vendors are not taking on new high-volume customers as they work to supply their current customers. For some, sourcing can be as simple as going to Kroger if Publix is out something they need. The District serves over 150,000 meals a week, so sourcing locally is generally not a viable option.
  • The Child Nutrition Department will continue navigating the supply chain disruptions and shortages that have been making national headlines to ensure our students continue to be served USDA-approved meals each school day.
  • As a reminder, CMCSS is not the agency which supplies P-EBT cards. The Tennessee Department of Human Services oversees the pandemic food benefits program.