Staff shortages across the nation have hit the food industry hard, but shortages have not been picky with which food workers it has affected. As in-person learning has returned, school cafeteria workers are working overtime to keep up.
Along with staffing issues affecting the hours that cafeteria workers have been putting in, supply-chain problems are also affecting schools' food supplies.
The issue has been brought to the state's attention as Minnesota Assistant State Education Commissioner Daron Korte shared what is being done to help ease the struggle.
Korte shared that the issue is not Minnesota-specific as most nationwide are running into the same problems.
"It's a nationwide issue, so it's not unique to Minnesota, but we're definitely feeling it here in terms of food shortages, you know, having vendors with substitutions and outages too," Korte said.
In Philadelphia, the principal of S. Weir Mitchell Elementary, Stephanie Andrewlevich, purchased pizza for her students after staff shortages resulted in the school district not providing food for her students and the cafeteria staff not showing up for work.
Despite Andrewlevich's heads-up thinking, some of the pizzas showed up later in the day, and some after students were dismissed, meaning groups of kids went hungry.