SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — Across the country schools are being faced with a new supply chain issue, no milk cartons in traditional school lunches. Schools were first given notice of this issue on October 25th when the USDA sent out guidance to states on how to handle the issue.
Rachel Murphy, Director of Food and Nutritional Services, at the Syracuse City School District said this was when the school district began to look into how to handle the shortage. She said the school has found a variety of options to handle the shortage in the different types of schools.
“When we are not getting our orders of milk cartons we have a plan. The plan is for the high schools to get milk spigots. So we are going to dispense the milk in bulk. We get spigots in and let students pour their own. In the lower levels we are going to switch over to other forms of beverage. Ideally we would like to stay with milk, but we don’t have the capacity to pour out twenty-thousand cups of milk,” Murphy said.
The preschool students will have their teachers pour it to them in the classrooms to help meet nutrition standards throughout the day.
The New York State Department of Education has issued a four-pronged guidance for how schools can try to meet nutritional standards. It has said that schools can, “Pour milk from larger containers into individual cups. Offer one type of milk instead of a variety. Offer an alternate form of fluid milk such as low-fat or fat-free lactose-free milk or reduced-lactose fluid milk. Or as a last resort, not offer fluid milk altogether.”
As for the students at the school Murphy has said that it will be an adjustment for students, “We are in New York State, a number one producing dairy area, that’s what we do here. Our students are very accustomed to having milk as a part of their meal. To take that out is a very big deal.”