RAPID CITY, S.D. (KELO) — A mixture of supply shortages and not enough delivery drivers across the country is having an impact on school lunches. In Rapid City, schools are making adjustments in order to provide healthy meals for their students.
Staying nourished is an important part of a student’s education. Thousands of kids in the Rapid City School District line up each day for a hot meal.
“The school district offers both a breakfast and a lunch so that’s really a large portion of what the kids consume within the week,” Chris Leonhardt, Team Leader for Student Nutrition Services, said.
Chris Leonhardt is a team leader for the Rapid City Schools’ Student Nutrition Services. Leonhardt says without proper nutrition, it can be hard for a student to focus.
“We know that nutritious meals are important to fuel the body to fuel the brain and that’s just what we strive to do here every day is put out a good variety of food that’s as healthy as possible,” Leonhardt said.
Student Nutrition Manager, Krista Leischner, says a food shortage is forcing lunch crews to be ready to make quick adjustments.
“We are looking at this in a variety of ways. First of all, we are trying to stay ahead of things. The most immediate has been a simplified menu and just trying to make sure we can get those items in that are on the menu. However, if we are out then we are making last-minute changes and trying to get food in. We still are required to meet our USDA meal pattern,” Krista Leischner, Student Nutrition Manager, said.
Schools are required to offer a protein, a grain, a fruit, vegetable, and milk.
“My hope is that we’re able to get back to the menus that we had planned, that we are able to offer more of a variety and that we continue to be able to get food in so that we can continue to feed kids,” Leischner said.
The Rapid City Area Schools serves nearly 14,000 students. It’s the state’s second largest district made up of 23 schools.