Food shortage? Parents say lunch portions cut across several Gaston Co. schools

As the supply chain shortage continues to impact the U.S., some Gaston County parents also believe the shortage is trickling down to the cafeteria.
Published: Oct. 27, 2021 at 11:23 PM EDT
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GASTON COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - As the supply chain shortage continues to impact the U.S., some Gaston County parents also believe the shortage is trickling down to the cafeteria.

Ashley Jackson has two kids in Gaston County Schools.

She says her eighth-grade daughter has told her that there is sometimes not enough food to get through all lunch periods, and if there is any left, there a few options.

“A scoop of macaroni and cheese and a roll. I’ve heard someone...high school kid get four chicken nuggets and a roll, you know, very limited options and kind of just not enough to get these kids through a seven-hour school day and you know, be functioning at their best,” Jackson said.

She posted on social media about her daughter’s school, Cramerton Middle School, and comments started pouring in from parents across the county. She realized the issue, she says, was not only at her daughter’s school.

One parent posted, their child “had a smaller plate and didn’t have much on it.”

Another mom posted her child had told her the same thing.

Jackson also found out from her daughter, the issue has been going on -- she says -- for weeks.

“I asked my daughter Why didn’t you tell me sooner? And she said, ‘we were just used to this’.”

Jackson says she’s hoping communication from the district or school will let them know what is going on.

“Like this is crazy. Like why? First of all, the school has not said anything. The district has not said anything. We’re not notified at all. I mean, I’m sure most parents, you know, if we knew about this situation, we would be making sure our kids packed a lunch for the day and you know, I’m more than willing to do that for my child and any other child I can help,” she said.

She added parents don’t blame the district, workers or the schools for -- as she says -- portions being cut. Jackson says parents understand supply chain issues are to blame.

But they want communication to be part of a solution.

“You know, this is not a restaurant running out of food, who can do without, these are kids. A lot of kids depend on school meals and they’re not getting them and we have to find another solution and we can’t just say, you know, the trucks aren’t showing up or whatever the issue may be,” she said.

WBTV reached out to the district for a statement Tuesday and Wednesday night to confirm if there were any supply issues and if portions were being cut.

The district did acknowledge supply issues have been a challenge, but said, “our schools have enough food to serve to students/staff.

As of Wednesday night, we have yet to receive a statement to elaborate on what that means.

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