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Students wait for food during the summer lunch program at Bradford Area High School cafeteria. School districts are adjusting school lunches as needed for the 2021 school year as food shortages crop up.

Recent stories have warned of potential shortages of canned foods or meats due to increased prices for aluminum and processing plants operating at less than full capacity due to COVID.
On Oct. 7, the impact of these situations came to light in the food service for local school districts.
Smethport Area School District posted a notice to social media that shortages with suppliers are impacting the planned menu for October. Specifically, the pizza and fish sticks scheduled for Oct. 8 and 12, respectively, have to be replaced.
The district’s Food Service Director and Business Manager assured parents that the students will be provided a hot lunch option each day. However, due to these concerns, the menu will be announced a week at a time, rather than for the entire month.
In Bradford, the potential for shortages is on the radar but has not yet become a concern.
“Bradford has had minimal disruptions to our deliveries and supplies to this point. Our Food Service Director has posted a letter on our website to inform parents of the possibility of future shortages, but has assured our families and students that they will still be provided a balanced, nutritious meal should that occur,” Bradford Superintendent Katharine Pude said. “If need should arise, we will provide bi-weekly menus instead of monthly so that parents are still kept abreast of the food options available to their children.”
The issue of food shortage did present itself for Otto-Eldred School District, but a solid plan is in place to provide students with appropriate food choices.
O-E Superintendent Matthew Splain stated, “Otto-Eldred has reached out to an additional food supplier due to transportation issues and availability through certain suppliers. Our Food Service director has adjusted menus to ensure hot and cold options are available for students each day. Adjustments made include substitutes of the same product, but possibly a different style. For instance, the type of chicken served may change, but we are still serving chicken. Most products are still available, just the variety of those products are limited, and have been for months.”
For Kane Area School District, the issue has also been faced and addressed this school year.
Interim Superintendent Anna Kearney said, “Our Food Service Director has had to change the menu but there is always the correct components for a nutritious meal. The shortages seem to be with chicken and bread products. Perhaps instead of a sandwich being offered or a roll, they will have a wrap or a chicken salad instead of chicken nuggets.”

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