Local Schools Face Food Service Staff Shortage

DULUTH, Minn. — Schools across the nation are in desperate need of food service workers, including Lowell Elementary School in Duluth.

The shortage is not only in the area, but throughout the country and across the state.

Duluth public schools Communications Officer, Adelle Wellens, says they do have workers to provide meals. Although, if one person gets sick, they’re short staffed and then there’s an issue.

“When Covid-19 was declared a pandemic all schools were shut down. The following year, schools’ moved to distant learning. So we didn’t have such a high need and other people left and found other jobs because they needed jobs.”

For some students, school lunch might be their only home-cooked meal. Wellens says that working in the kitchen takes more than serving food.

“You can touch so many lives by being a food service worker in a school and make such a positive impact on these students lives.”

Fortunately, Wellens says Duluth schools’ have not been affected by food shortages. In part of their contracts with school service providers, but when schools rolls around this fall, the district will face a few changes.

“So we do have a slight increase in meals at 10 cents. Every students get breakfast for free regardless. Starting this school year, we will have to go back to paid lunches as the Covid-19 Relief received the past two years is no long available.”

With Duluth schools’ planning to full operate in-person, the lunch room will be packed with many mouths to feed.

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