Several Alabama schools are warning parents they may be unable to feed students amidst the labor shortage and supply chain issues, with one school going as far as warning students may need to revert to remote learning.
Alexander City Schools wrote in a Saturday Facebook post that the school had not received food deliveries in recent weeks “due to suppliers who are short on supplies, drivers and even warehouse employees.”
Alexander City schools serve students both breakfast and lunch, but the schools are warning “breakfast may be impacted more so than lunch in coming weeks.” (RELATED: Inflation Rises Again As COVID Recovery Slows And Supply Chains Remain In Chaos)
“If possible, we ask that you feed your student breakfast prior to school or try to send a snack.”
Alexander City Schools later clarified Tuesday that students were not denied either breakfast or lunch at any time and warned menu selections “could be limited based on item availability during weekly deliveries.”
Approximately 65% of the students in Alexander City Schools are eligible for free and reduced-price meals, according to AL.com, which cited the Alabama State Department of Education.
Dothan City Schools is also facing similar issues, posting on Facebook on Sept. 23 that “like many other school districts, grocery stores, and restaurants across the nation, we are experiencing supply chain issues and a shortage of delivery drivers.”
The district noted a “severe shortage of CDL Truck Drivers” and “labor retention issues are causing higher costs due to supply and demand.”
The district warned parents should “prepare to have virtual/remote school days a few days out of the week to alleviate the stress of our food supplies.”
Should the district switch to remote learning, students would not receive meals, a spokesperson for Dothan City Schools confirmed to AL.com.
Child Nutrition Programs Director for the Alabama Department of Education Anjelice Lowe said while schools are not required to provide meals, many students depend on them, according to AL.com.
“We know that a child cannot learn when hungry. It is imperative that meals are provided in order for students to have a successful and productive day in school.”
Nationwide supply chain issues and labor shortages have caused issues for several sectors, with food prices surging as companies struggle to find trucks and staff processing lines while the cost for products surge, The Wall Street Journal reported.