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Supply chain backlog forces Eastern Carolina schools to change lunches

Published: Oct. 19, 2021 at 7:52 PM EDT
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NEW BERN, N.C. (WITN) - While going through the lunch line, New Bern High School students may notice a few changes.

For example, spoons and forks are no longer out for the taking.

“We have the cashiers giving out one per student,” says Lauren Weyand, Craven County nutrition director.

The school system assures that every student getting a single utensil is just one of the ways they are combatting a supply chain backlog with help from their patrons.

“I’m kind of just falling into place and kind of making sure that I just have what I need and I don’t end up with two spoons and somebody else doesn’t have something,” said New Bern High School senior Antonio Mitchell.

Weyand explained that the county is having a hard time getting containers and five-compartment-trays, forcing nutrition staff to get creative.

“We have them cutting the containers so they’re using both sides. So the closed compartment, they cut that and then they’re able to use the both sides. So it’ll last twice as long.”

Lauren Weyand, Craven County nutrition director

The challenge is also coming to their plates as they struggle to get certain meats and more.

“Before we did not have syrup, we just got syrup a couple days ago,” Mitchell recalled.

Weyand said they are handling the food shortage by cutting out the middle man and going directly to the manufacturers.

According to Weyand, the school system is also buying from North Carolina meat processors and growers. “It has forced us to think outside of the box,” she said.

Weyand also said the county has nutrition staff openings and the county’s office staff has been stepping up to help in the kitchen. She requests patience as they try to come up with solutions.

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