Inflation & Supply Chain Shortages: Here’s What It Means For School Lunch Programs

Supply chain disruptions and the rising cost of food have affected the food service industry at large, but it’s even more pressing for institutions feeding large populations. Here’s what it means for school lunch programs — more added stress.

Fortunately, there are alternative options that can help mitigate some of the stress that school administrators are facing. Keep reading to find out how.

Problems Getting Menu Items & Ingredients

The most glaring issue for school lunch programs is difficulties obtaining common menu items and ingredients, because of food shortages. Buns are in short supply, due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine — between two of the top wheat producers worldwide (Source). There is a widespread ketchup shortage as a result of rapid shifts in consumer demand during the pandemic, with no sign of supply catching up anytime soon.

Chicken, beef, and tortillas are proving to be a volatile issue as well. As a result, cafeterias are having to adapt, making drastic changes to their menus and even raising prices. To make matters worse, school lunch prices are slated to continue rising. Check out our article on that to see exactly why.

Problems Getting Cafeteria Supplies

Not only are certain foods hard to come by, but there are also supply shortages. Items like trays, plates, napkins, and paper cups are in short supply too. This is the result of labor shortages that are forcing manufacturers to cut back on production. Administrators are sourcing these supplies however they can, reportedly, buying cases at retail stores.

Consequently, schools are having to check different vendors each week to see if they have any supplies available. If you’re an administrator in a similar situation, we’ve assembled a list of the best food service vendors as a place to start.

The Bottom Line

School lunch programs are paying higher costs for food with fewer choices on the menu for students. Resulting in more last-minute changes, and troubles supplying the cafeteria.

As we mentioned before though, there are ways to options that can help relieve some of the stress, like Ordo.

Need a Solution?

Ordo is a K-12 food delivery service that connects schools local restaurants, chefs, and caterers to make heavenly homestyle meals. Want to know the best part? We handle all of the stress of managing school lunch programs, with no added cost to schools!

Kids enjoying lunch

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