Does anyone have a spare milk carton? Apparently, they are in short supply lately. Milk, on the other hand, is NOT in short supply.

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According to a memo from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food and Nutrition Service in October, schools in several states are dealing with issues relating to "milk supply chain challenges related to packaging issues."

The website, Fast Company notes that the reason isn't entirely clear. The article states that the website Packaging Dive cites issues, stating that it may have to alter orders because its main carton supplier, Pactiv Evergreen, is “experiencing major production issues.”

But, Packaging Dive notes that the problem causing the shortage is still a mystery, and can’t get answers about exactly what’s going on or when business will return to normal.

Shortage Affects Some New York State Schools

Spectrum News 1 reported on October 1st, that school districts in the Rochester area along with those throughout the Central New York regions had been impacted by the shortage.

The New York State Education Department along with the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets have put in place actions and outreach to support New York’s dairy industry and schools during the nationwide shortage of packaging paperboard.

While this is not just a New York problem, it is a nationwide problem. It is impacting our schools and their ability to serve New York milk to our students.  As we continue to learn more about the situation, we have taken immediate steps to bring our industry together and discuss temporary solutions to the packaging paperboard shortage so milk can continue to be a part of our students’ nutrition at school and to limit the impact on dairy farmers. - State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball


NYS Education Department Temporary Fix

To assist the School Food Authorities, the NYS Education Department notes that for districts who can't obtain milk in half pints for their school meals programs during this time, they have released temporary guidance, including pouring milk from larger containers into individual cups, offering one type of milk instead of a variety, offering an alternate form of fluid milk such as low-fat or fat-free lactose-free milk reduced-lactose fluid milk, or as a last resort, do not offer fluid milk altogether.

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