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National supply chain issues impact Maine school cafeterias

The Westbrook School Department and Falmouth Public Schools are constantly changing lunch menus because of the issues.

WESTBROOK, Maine — The coronavirus pandemic has made it tough to get certain items, and now supply chain issues are hitting school cafeterias.

"We're being shorted on a variety of different items," Westbrook School Department Nutrition Director Mary Emerson said.

The Westbrook School Department is constantly changing its breakfast and lunch menus because of the issues. Emerson said they are having trouble getting items like cheesy breadsticks, graham crackers, and paper goods.

The Falmouth Public Schools and the Portland Public Schools are also having a difficult time. 

Falmouth Superintendent Gretchen McNulty said the district had to change Tuesday's lunch menu because an item they were counting on was not available. 

McNulty said the district is getting creative to be able to provide items. Emerson said Westbrook is doing the same.

"We're looking local first. We're trying to look for similar items from other distributors. We might not be able to get graham crackers in a square, but we might be able to get like Teddy Grahams," Emerson said.

Emerson said 70% of students in the district get lunch from school, and they have been delivering meals to students who are learning remotely.