Riding Out the Storm

K-12 school nutrition operators and vendors face another difficult school year.

THIS TIME LAST YEAR, we looked into our crystal ball and saw big trouble ahead (“Tsunami Warning,” August 2021). The mists foretold of labor shortages, vulnerabilities in the supply chain and skyrocketing demand for materials, all complicating the reopening of schools and cafeterias, and presenting school nutrition professionals, already exhausted by 18 months of emergency feeding, with a new set of unprecedented challenges. While we hoped that our crystal ball would be only as accurate as one found in a carnival tent, it turned out to be on the nose.

Actually, there have been unforeseen complications that dialed up the pressure even higher. Labor shortages extended to the foodservice and hospitality segments. Inflation dramatically spiked fuel and food costs. And when Russia invaded Ukraine, the U.S. prioritized billions in financial support to help its vulnerable ally...

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