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Tacoma schools struggle with limited lunch options during pandemic

Tacoma Public Schools is struggling to keep its lunch menu consistent with supply chain issues.

TACOMA, Wash. — Tacoma Public Schools (TPS) now joins several other area schools dealing with limited lunch options as a result of the national food and supply shortage.

For TPS, this means menus may change frequently, different meals may be available from school to school and food accommodations are limited and could be delayed.

This has left many schools doing what they can to put together last-minute meal fixes.

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The shortage is also impacting things like plastic, paper bags and boxes.

Schools are asking that parents and students be patient as they deal with the shortage.

Supply chain issues have become increasingly common as virtually every industry across the planet continues to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. Staff shortages, surge in demand and limited resources in many sectors of the economy have backlogs and delivery delays everywhere. 

Earlier this week, reports surfaced that Costco would be limiting purchases on certain items due to supply shortages. The store, like many other grocery chains, had to limit purchases early in the pandemic because customers were panic buying things like toilet paper and cleaning products. 

Earlier this month the Burlington-Edison School District said that supply chain shortages were also affecting its cafeteria lunches as well as the very items kids use to eat them. 

The district's food services leader said that supply chain issues were affecting shipments of things like plastic, brown paper bags and boxes. 

TPS said its district's situation is temporary and will improve once suppliers and distributors catch up with demand.