How are schools preparing to keep kids fed this year?

KSN News
KSN News

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A year after having to make last-minute changes to breakfast and lunch menus, school district leaders say this year is different. Many school districts are in a good spot supply-wise compared to last year.

Wichita Public Schools has enough food on hand for 20 to 25 days, which is more than they expected to have to start the year.

“We received a lot of deliveries in May and June that we were supposed to receive back in December and January. So the supply chain caught up with itself to a degree,” said David Paul, USD 259 director of Nutrition Services.

Paul says it is still too soon to determine if this kind of supply will hold up.

“We’re still in that in that phase where we’re not sure what we’re going to get, in what quantities, and when. So there is still a lot of uncertainty, but to start the school year, I think we’re in really good shape.”

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Over in Hays Public Schools, their deliveries just started coming this week.

“There’s a few things that we haven’t been able to get yet, but luckily we have other vendors that we can reach out to that can get us something another one can’t, or we just, you know, change our menus and move forward with something different,” said Jessica Younker, USD 489 director of Nutrition Services.

The biggest change they are seeing is the price tag.

“We’ve noticed our prices have increased. Some pretty dramatically, as much as double or triple what it was prior to the pandemic,” Younker said.

During the pandemic, all districts offered free lunches to every student that no longer applies. So both Wichita and Hays districts are encouraging families to apply for free or reduced meals.

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