Milk carton shortage causes changes in school meals

Milk carton shortage

Milk carton shortage

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Your student’s school lunch menu will start looking a little bit different soon. Upstate Farms, which is the main supplier of milk to many local schools, doesn’t have enough half pint paper cartons to hold its product.

Students are offered milk at school for a reason. It’s what keeps their bones and teeth strong and boosts their immune system. But, students may not see it for awhile.

Upstate Farms has the milk, but nothing to put it in. The company that supplies half pint cartons is having trouble filling school orders.

While it looks for other vendors, Upstate Farms is offering schools half gallons of milk which can be poured into cups for kids.

That is what the staff at Mary Cariola Center is doing.

And Courtney Clement, a parent of a student that attends the center, knows that it’s extremely important for her child to get the nutrients that come with a glass of milk.

“So ,I think in all of our lives, it’s just absolutely crazy to think that there’s a milk carton shortage, because as being a parent of a child, we all know how important it is to have all of our kids eating healthy and getting all of their vitamins and nutrients and milk is so important to growing strong bones, as we know, and teeth. So I think it’s absolutely crazy and I hope that they find a solution soon,” Clement said.

I checked in with several local districts, some are providing milk in cups, others like Rush-Henrietta and the Rochester City School District, aren’t providing milk at all. They are offering juice as an extra fruit option. This was approved by the State Education Department.

Upstate Farms expects this shortage to get better by next year.

A statement from Upstate Farms reads:

“Milk is an integral part of school meals due to its unique nutritional package. One glass of milk delivers 13 essential nutrients that fuel children’s growth, development and learning and we are doing everything we can to ensure milk remains available to schools.”