South Prairie School among hundreds across the country faces a shortage of dining halls


SOUTH PRAIRIE, ND – Schools across the country are feeling the impacts of the supply chain shortage, creating major problems in dining halls, including those in the South Prairie School District.

Lunchtime is one of the best parts of the school day for some children, but not being able to eat the same lunch with other children due to an allergy can be difficult for students and their parents.

“I cook her lunch everyday now and she gets mad because she just wants to have lunch with her friends, to be exactly like her friends. We can’t. She eats the same things almost every day,” Hayley said. Horner, a parent from South Prairie School.

Usually, South Prairie School would be able to provide different meal options for students with food allergies, but now the lunch menu is constantly changing after the school’s primary food distributor abandoned their district due to shortages in the supply chain.

“Anything fast, they have a hard time receiving it. It would be canned goods, fruits, vegetables. One of our children’s favorites is the chicken nuggets. We can’t put chicken nuggets and it’s hard on the kids, ”said Lisa Yester, head cook at South Prairie School.

Make everyday life a new challenge for some parents.

“Some days she can eat at school, some days she can’t, so her teacher will text me every day whether the menu is the same or it has changed,” Horner said.

As well as the dining room staff who serve up to 500 children per day.

“You try to be creative with what you can and it’s more than you hope it will work because you hope you will have enough to serve everyone,” Yester said.

With no relief in sight, the dining room staff ask for understanding.

“We are a little more lax when it comes to our requirements, we still aim to meet them daily on certain days, it’s just you know, parents understand a little more what we can and cannot come in”, a Yester said.

Yester added that they will do everything in their power to make sure the children get a fresh meal every day.

Yester said they had to go to stores like Walmart, Marketplace and Sam’s Club to outsource food and paper.

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