Hawley School District experiencing school lunch shortages

Families received a letter from the superintendent laying out challenges they're experiencing with providing students proper school lunch
Published: Sep. 22, 2023 at 10:55 AM CDT
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HAWLEY, Minn. (Valley News Live) - Families within the Hawley Public School District received an email from the Superintendent Phil Jensen stating that the district is experiencing multiple challenges in feeding their students proper school lunches.

After legislation passed last spring in Minnesota, school lunches are now provided free of charge to all students. At both Hawley Elementary and Hawley High School, this has presented them with issues, according to Jensen.

Within his email, Superintendent Jensen says this is because of three main reasons.

The first is an overall shortage of food items. With an increased number of students participating in the school lunch program, they have encountered occasional shortages of certain food items. He says this makes it difficult to provide the variety of food they strive for in their meal offerings.

The second is a high demand for specific food items. Certain menu items have become extremely popular, resulting in high demand. Jensen explains that this had led to temporary unavailability from the suppliers.

The final reason is a record number of students. This year, their total enrollment is 1,077 students, which is the highest in school history. He notes that the high participation rate has put extra pressure on their food service operations.

The superintendent made suggestions for parents about what to do in the meantime: “We kindly encourage to consider packing your child extra snacks for their school day. Our primary goal remains providing nutritious and satisfying meals to all students, and we are committed to achieving that goal.”

The district thanked parents for their cooperation, but many parents are still left with many questions.