What’s new: USDA recently released a report detailing the results of “The School Food Authority (SFA) Survey II on Supply Chain Disruption and Student Participation.” The survey was administered by its Food and Nutrition Service between November 2022 and January 2023.
The details: SFAs reported continued post-pandemic challenges. Most notably are:
- 97% of SFAs continue to experience supply chain-related issues, with increased costs, staff and product shortages cited as top challenges.
- About 79% reported difficulties related to the expiration of pandemic waivers. Top challenges were confusion from students or parents and unpaid school meal debt.
- The financial status of SFAs in the first quarter of SY2022-23 was less favorable than in a typical pre-pandemic year, with only 62% of SFAs reporting breaking even or operating at a surplus.
The bottom line: Top line survey results mirror findings of SNA’s 2023 School Nutrition Trends Report.
- Read USDA’s full report for details, including the use of Supply Chain Assistance funds, changes in food and labor costs, USDA Foods issues, equipment needs and SFA strategies for addressing challenges.