PICKENS COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – A shortage of milk and juice cartons is impacting some Upstate school districts.
School officials tell 7NEWS there is a shortage of the materials needed to make milk and juice cartons.
“The supplier that supplies the cardboard is having a supply issue,” Quentin Cavanagh, the Director of Culinary Services for Anderson School District 5, said.
“We did notify the state department, and USDA is very well aware of this,” Jenaffer Stevenson, the Director of Student Nutrition Services for the School District of Pickens County, added.
Some suppliers are limiting how much milk they send to schools.
“Instead of them producing six different flavors of milk that K-12 can choose from, they’re only providing three flavors because that allows them to focus on the more popular flavors,” Cavanagh said.
Stevenson said Pickens County will begin offering only one flavor of milk due to the carton shortage. If that flavor is limited by the supplier, the district will adjust.
“We can get milk,” Stevenson said. “So, worst case scenario, maybe we pour milk into cups.”
The carton shortage is affecting Anderson School District 5’s supply of juice.
“We haven’t seen a problem with the milk yet, and we don’t anticipate it,” Cavanagh said. “But, we have definitely seen a problem with juice and not having those cartons.”
Cavanagh said the district orders thousands of cartons of Suncup juice a week but has not received a delivery for the last two weeks.
“It does create a challenge because you expect to have 10,000 servings of juice come on your truck for the week, and it doesn’t show up,” he explained. “So, you have to scramble to find something to replace it.”
Cavanagh said the district substitutes the juice with other products.
The districts said this is not the first time they have dealt with a shortage of supplies.
“A lot of our manufacturers still have not caught up from COVID,” Cavanagh said. “We still have supply chain issues from the pandemic.”
It is unclear when the carton shortage will end. The districts said they are committed to serving students amid the shortage.
“We’ll take care of your kids,” Stevenson said. “If they need milk or want milk, we’ll have it available whatever way that is.”