East Stroudsburg Area School District feels effect of food distribution shortage

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EAST STROUDSBURG, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Supply chain shortages are impacting many industries across the nation and now… it’s putting pressure on schools and student meals.

“Shortages of drivers, shortages of pickers, as well as manufacturer issues with the actual products,” said the Director of Food Services at East Stroudsburg Area School District Melissa Collevechio.

Despite large food distributors struggling with shortages across the board the East Stroudsburg Area School District is staying creative with its menu from a helping hand.

District officials tell Eyewitness News they aren’t taking a huge hit from national shortages because they work with local resources in Monroe County.

Those resources include local farms and even a pizzeria.

“Next week, in fact, we have over 700 cases of pizza being delivered to our district. And that will provide pizza to our students for about 3 weeks,” said Collevechio.

The apples that are packaged for students’ lunch come straight from Gould’s farm in Brodheadsville.

The district says it relies heavily on the produce farm for its fresh fruits and vegetables.

“If a school is having challenges obtaining in bulk, particular products, or selections that students are used to eating, likely their families are experiencing similar things when going to local supermarkets or big box stores,” said Eric Forsyth East Stroudsburg Area School District Director of Administrative services.

Thankful for the school’s storage, the district continuously reaches out to vendors to secure foods in bulk that are considered a need

“Even though we do have stereotypes that people develop regarding school food, I find working here that you can get a pizza from the cafeteria or one of their homemade meals here that taste just as good as what you might even order at a local eating establishment,” said Forsyth.

The district has also partnered with a neighboring school district for assistance with the USDA’s food program to help feed its virtual students.

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