Supply shortage affects cafeteria orders

Rheagan Cox, Staff Writer

Cafeteria manager Laura Scott says she enjoys her job and does “what needs to be done,” and these days that means going the extra mile to get styrofoam cups, trays, parfait cups, and revamping the lunch menu to combat the supply shortages. 

In mid-October, President Biden announced that the port of Los Angeles, Walmart, Fed-Ex, and Ups would each begin operating 24/7 in an effort to combat the supply shortage that began when factories shut down or slowed production during the pandemic. The nationwide labor shortage has continued to impact production and shipping. 

The shortage has caused deliveries to get shorter and more random, so Scott never knows whether she will receive what she has ordered. 

“Whenever we order Powerade products or bottled orange juice and apple juice, we don’t know what we are getting,” Scott said.

The incomplete orders mean extra work for Scott. 

“I have to run around to Walmart or Sams trying to get what we need, and styrofoam trays are nowhere to be found,” she said.

Scotts says the prices have gone up “tremendously,” an average of 15% increase. Last year the cafeteria was paying $4,000 a week for supplies and $300 a week for produce. With the shortage, the cafeteria is now paying $5,000 a week for supplies and $700 a week on produce.