Carton shortage impacts schools
A new supply chain problem could further reduce fluid milk consumption in schools.
Democratic U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer of New York has called on the USDA to investigate the shortage of paperboard gable-top milk cartons commonly used for school meal programs.
Schumer’s letter to Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says schools across New York state have been forced to alter their milk deliveries, reduce milk varieties served, purchase bulk milk to serve in plastic cups with lids, or purchase drink dispensers to continue meeting students’ nutritional needs. Schumer says there is still plenty of milk for kids to drink, but the milk carton shortage is expected to last several months and will continue disrupting schools’ ability to adhere to federal nutrition standards.
Former New York farmer and Republican State Assemblyman Chris Tague says Evergreen Packaging, which makes many of the gable-top paperboard cartons, can’t seem to keep up with the demand. He says, “There is not a shortage of milk- there is a shortage of milk cartons.” Tague says there are obvious solutions like opting for recyclable plastic bottles or dispensers and cups, but the anti-milk Majority is not attempting to implement these options.” Tague says how this shortage is handled will set a precedent for the availability of milk in schools, and right now, he says it is not going in the right direction.