Why is there a shortage of lunch selections?


Ashley Kenney

One of the limited lunch options

Each year at Lanier High School, students have had multiple choices of lunch each day. There are multiple lines in the cafeteria, each with a unique lunch option. With this level of variety, lunch has not only been interesting, but inclusive to students with certain eating restrictions. For vegetarian students, there is always cheese pizza. For vegan students, there is always a PB&J. For lactose intolerant students, plenty of days have options like chicken nuggets, hamburgers, and hot dogs.

However, for the past few weeks, there has been a substantial decrease of variety in the lunch menu. There is rarely ever pizza in the pizza line, and most days every line serves the same meals. For example, for September 17, the school website has multiple lunch options listed, including seafood variety, housemade dip and tortilla chips, and garden spot variety. However, the cafeteria only served pizza in each line. None of the options previously listed were served throughout the day.

Dr. Martin commented saying, “There have been some changes in the lunch menu, and the changes are actually due to the manufacturing plants . . . being impacted by Covid.” When asked about potential solutions to the problems, he said, “The only thing that I can do is just hope they get it fixed. Once those plants get back online and really operate the way they’re supposed to, it brings back multiple options for us.”

When asked about the main cause of the shortages Dr. Martin said, “It’s a combination of having fewer workers in those factories . . . and if they have an outbreak [of Covid], they have to shut the whole plant down.” He added, “That’s actually not just a Gwinnett thing or Lanier thing, it is an entire impact on the country. It’s actually starting to impact grocery stores as well.”

It seems this problem is out of the control of everyone buying from these mass producers. Until the problem is resolved on the production end, there are few things that the school can do to accelerate the return to normalcy. With the rapid increase in Covid-19 vaccinations in the country, the best anyone can do is hope the current public health concerns get resolved.