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What’s for lunch?: National supply chain issues hit Horry County Schools cafeterias

Published: Oct. 25, 2021 at 11:14 PM EDT
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CONWAY, S.C. (WMBF) - Nationwide supply issues could soon impact students in the Grand Strand.

Horry County Schools is dealing with several shortages that may lead to changes for school lunches.

“There are multiple impacts across the country regarding the supply chain and its impact on its operation,” HCS Superintendent Dr. Rick Maxey said during a board meeting Monday.

From truck driver shortages to back-up at the ports, the supply of basic products across multiple sectors continues to be an issue.

At HCS, the supply issue is most felt when the lunch bell rings.

“Availability of these items that we need, changes daily,” said Daryl Brown, HCS Chief Officer for Support Services. “Unfortunately, these shortages may impact our menus with little or no notice at all.”

Students should be prepared to eat something that isn’t on the menu for the foreseeable future because it could happen on any given day.

Brown said the district will make do with what it has in the event of a shortage.

If they don’t have a menu item they’ll try to substitute it with something similar.

“Not only are we having food shortages, we’re having Styrofoam and paper shortages as well,” said Brown.

Many HCS schools still don’t have their cafeterias open because of the pandemic, with students having lunch delivered to their classrooms on Styrofoam plates.

The Styrofoam shortages may force some schools to re-open lunchrooms earlier than they planned.

“Many of our students will be transitioning to the cafeteria within the next couple of weeks to be served their meals,” said Brown. “This adjustment will allow us to use plastic trays instead of Styrofoam trays.”

Brown says the district is working with its distributors to make sure it has everything it needs to operate its nutrition program. He didn’t offer a timeline Monday for how long they expect this to be an issue.

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