(From The Washington Post) Schools across the country are experiencing challenges with receiving food for school meals due to supply chain issues and staffing shortages among food vendors. The issue stems from the pandemic and greater economic forces: Many food manufacturers stopped making products specifically for school cafeterias when in-person school closed down in spring 2020 and have been slow to resume. Many vendors determined that schools were their least profitable customers and have canceled contracts. And the vendors that still service them have incurred higher costs themselves, which they pass along.
The federal government has heard the concerns, and just this week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced it will provide assistance to schools seeing supply chain disruptions. The USDA also approved nearly $1.5 billion in relief funds to help offset costs incurred during the early months of the pandemic. However, experts are unsure whether this is sufficient to resolve the problems.
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