Laramie County School District No. 1 announced Tuesday that it was struggling to receive enough milk for students at breakfast and lunch.
“This year, due to the effects of the pandemic, we are experiencing unprecedented supply-chain challenges,” said Carla Bankes, LCSD1’s Nutrition Services program administrator.
Students are being encouraged to bring refillable water bottles to school.
Bankes explained that her department has been able to ward off other pandemic-related food shortages by purchasing larger quantities and using direct shipments.
However, since milk is a perishable item and the shortage is widespread, she said the district does not have a ready solution.
“We continue to problem solve,” she said. “Whatever is served must align with the National Food Program. We have evaluated other options including bottled water, but there is also bottling shortage.”
Additionally, the shortages are intermittent, allowing some schools to have milk or other items when other schools do not.
“We ask parents and staff to be patient as we work through this nationwide shortage,” Bankes said. “With a little grace, we will navigate these issues just as we have done throughout the pandemic.”
According to Colorado TV station KRDO, Colorado schools have also been affected by the milk shortage.
The station reported that similar to other industries across the West and the nation, there are dozens of unfilled jobs in the dairy industry, including drivers transporting milk to businesses.
According to Bloomberg, the supply of basic goods at U.S. grocery stores and restaurants is once again falling victim to intermittent shortages and delays.
Bloomberg additionally reported that in Denver, broken parts at a local milk supplier’s plant affected shipments of half-pint cartons while also disrupting the supply and distribution of cereal, tortillas and juice.