The supply chain disruption has had an effect on many parts of society including the food services at local school districts.
Allegheny-Clarion Valley Food Services Director Stacey Redding informed the A-C Valley School Board at its recent regular voting meeting that the district is having trouble getting food supplies from its regular food distributor.
"We are still struggling with supply," Redding said. "We still have the case caps from U.S. Foods and we were notified we will not getting a food (supply) truck next Wednesday (Nov. 24)."
Redding said she was able to get the supplies not provided through U.S Foods through Maplevale Farms. However, Redding said she couldn't get the discount she gets from U.S Foods on the Maplevale order.
Redding also said she was notified about shortages in fluid milk. Moreover, Redding said she couldn't get the normal order of lactose-free milk the district gets but she was able to find fresh lactose-free milk. However, the fresh lactose-free milk has a shorter shelf life than the regular brand she orders.
Redding said on her most recent order, U.S. Foods was only raising the case caps by 15 percent.
Board member Mark Viertel asked Redding if other schools in the area where having the same problems A-C Valley is having.
"Everybody that uses U.S. Foods is (experiencing shortages)," Redding said. "I'm not 100 percent sure (who is at fault). We're being told it is the truck drivers. The truck drivers are telling us that they don't understand why we have a case cap at all since they have been running at 100-percent capacity."
Redding continued, "We were told four weeks ago that our case caps would increase by 5 percent each week and we have not seen an increase at all. Right now we are running at about 55 to 60 percent of what we need. This is our second week this school year that we were informed shipments weren't coming."
Redding also said she is not receiving food boxes from the USDA she normally gets. She stated that most of the eggs and cheese the food service receives is from the USDA and is provided at a lower rate than from other providers. Redding said that she is paying between $50 and $61 for a box of cheese when she got it from the USDA it is $5.75 per box.
Redding said she has been careful to order from U.S. Foods the items the district gets discounts on while ordering paper products and disposables through Maplevale Farms.
Staffing has also been an issue for Redding as she has had to move a cashier to food preparation and she has had to use substitutes and other staff to keep up with the demand.
Later in the meeting, A-C Valley High School Principal Dr. William Jordan informed the board about the senior project he is proposing.
The A-C Valley senior project has been on hold the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic but Jordan wants to see it restarted beginning in the 2022-23 school year.
Under Jordan's plan, students beginning ninth grade in the fall of 2022 would be required to perform 30 hours of community service before they can graduate. Students would be required to perform five hours of community service in both their freshman and sophomore years while performing 10 hours of community service in both their junior and senior years.
Jordan wants to see the requirements pro-rated for students who will be sophomores, juniors and seniors starting in 2022. Seniors graduating in 2023 will only have to perform 10 hours of community service, students graduating in 2024 will be required to perform 20 hours of community service and those scheduled to graduate in 2025 will be required to perform 25 hours of community service.
In addition to performing 30 hours of community service, incoming freshmen will also have to devote the same number of hours to career exploration which includes college visits and job shadowing.
Jordan plans to present the senior project requirements to the board for a formal vote at the Dec. 1 board reorganization/regular meeting.
In other business, the board:
4Approved Todd Anderson as a guest teacher.
4Approved extending the Seamless Summer Option and Summer Food Service Program through June 30, 2022. Redding informed the board this will likely be the last year for the program.
4Retroactively approved hiring Stacey Fox as the varsity cheerleading head coach at a salary of $3,123.
4Approved the request from Bobbi McGarvey to be a volunteer with the varsity cheerleading team for the 2021-22 school year, pending receipt of all appropriate documentation.
4Approved advertising for a temporary grant-funded mathematics coach for the high school.