How the Shelby County School district is staying ahead of nationwide supply chain issues

SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. — Businesses, households and some schools across the nation are dealing with supply chain problems.

While some school systems are canceling free breakfast and lunch programs, the Shelby County School district has a plan in place to make sure that doesn’t happen.

The free breakfast and lunch program is a life-saver for SCS parents like Nia Calhoun.

“We’ve been managing, spending money where we can and cutting corners when we don’t,” said Calhoun.

She said the program helped especially during the pandemic when times are tough.

“It’s a blessing because a lot of kids don’t have a chance to eat and sometimes, a lot of times, kids are dependent on those two meals to get them through the day,” said Calhoun.

The SCS Chief of Business Operations Genard Phillips said his team did a lot of planning to navigate through the supply chain crisis.

It’s a huge relief for families especially since some schools in the country are canceling free breakfast and lunches because of a lack of inventory.

“We decided to make preparations to order in larger truckload volumes. At this point, we haven’t experienced a major setback in supply chain,” said Phillips.

Phillips said he will continue to monitor the situation to make sure SCS has everything it needs to feed hundreds of students.

Families like Nia’s are grateful.

“I have a growing child, you know, it sort of weans the hunger until dinner is done, so basically yeah, said Calhoun.

SCS said another bonus is they are not paying for anything out of budget, despite higher food costs, because it already has a contract with companies who are delivering the food items.