Kansas school districts adapting to keep students fed

Local

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — Kansas school districts face a couple of major challenges this year. Not only are they dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, but a lot of them are also having trouble getting enough food for the students.

“We’re feeding more kids than we ever have before with the USDA and Every Kid Eats for Free,” said Michael Janzen, assistant superintendent for Circle School District.

Going into a record year of mouths to feed, Circle School District, like many others, found out major food supplier Sysco was pausing their deliveries.

“It caused us to do some scrambling,” Janzen said. “Just the time it takes in which to track down all the different vendors and in trying to find and get the food secured for our students from whoever and whatever vendors we can.”

For those vendors able to step up, they are noticing other supply chain issues.

“Sometimes we don’t always get everything that we ordered,” Janzen said. “We tried to supply our parents with a lunch menu for a month in advance, and that’s really hard right now when we’re never guaranteed for sure what’s going to come off the truck each week.”

For the next month, Circle Schools need to limit the entrees to one option.

Stafford Schools needs to adapt as well.

“It’s been a little, a little bumpy, I’ll say, but so far, we’ve been able to manage,” said Jo Cargill, USD 349 food services director.

She is asking parents to be flexible.

“I always put on the menu, ‘Menus are subject to change,'” Cargill said. “In fact, we did that for (Friday) morning’s breakfast.”

Both districts want to reassure parents that their kids will be fed no matter what.

“I’m not gonna let anybody go hungry, so there is always gonna be something there,” Cargill said.

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