By: Ruthie Saylor
In the last few weeks there has been a clear supply shortage in the cafeteria at the Tussey Mountain High School. This has been affecting not just the students, but it has also affected the cafeteria staff that is employed at the high school. It has led to a shortage of some of the students’ favorite options.
One of the most popular choices in the school is the chicken products that they make, but they have been seeing a shortage in them. Renee Giselman, the Food Service Director at Tussey says, “We haven’t got any chicken in … this week. There is none available.” That is why the students and staff could only purchase sandwiches with chicken strips or nuggets in them, or no chicken sandwiches at all. Timothy Winnick, a freshman at Tussey Mountain says, “They replaced the chicken patty with nuggets. What’s the school coming to?” One of the reasons that the school has been having such a chicken shortage is because Tyson, the company from which Tussey buys their chicken products, has raised its price on chicken. This isn’t completely the company’s fault though. Tyson’s company spokesman says, “[We] are working diligently to address the demand and supply challenges the industry is facing to make sure students are fed.”
One of the other important things that the school has been running out of has been pizza dough. A week ago the school had completely run out of pizza, and the cafeteria didn’t have any left for the rest of the week due to this shortage.
The shortage isn’t only related to food. Tussey is also at risk of running out of all the paper and plastic products they use.The students who buy school lunches will not be seeing some of the products served the same. The fruit and vegetable cups are used to give an equal portion to the students and will now be dished out by each student individually. The students must each get their own portions of their choice of a fruit or vegetable.
Giselman says that she has received complaints from people who eat their lunches at the school. She has even received complaints from parents. She has also received questions “from parents, teachers [and], students.” It has perplexed some students as they ask themselves why they couldn’t get their pizza. After the recent return of the pizza to the pizza bar, Mrs. Giselman doesn’t expect to see it leaving us again anytime soon. She does add that we should expect the food shortage as a whole to last “[through] this year [and] next year. Probably the end of 2023.”
Mrs. Giselman does explain the reason for the shortage in the cafeteria. The shortage ultimately boils down to the coronavirus pandemic. Mrs. Giselman says, “Nobody’s working. They don’t have the people they need to drive trucks anymore.” Laura Reiley writes in a Washington Post article, “Supply chain backlogs plague the entire system.” This also contributes to the shortage of supplies. Schools now also have to deal with higher prices of chicken products according to The Washington Post. This means that schools are having a hard time buying products as some of the contracts with suppliers are being terminated for better deals elsewhere.
In the end, this leaves students confused as to why this is happening. Freshman Dalton Swope asks, “Are we going to be poor?” Dylan Stone, a senior, is expressing complaints about the inconsistencies in the food. Stone says, “[The food choices are] off sometimes, because some days it’s different and not consistent.”