National Supply Chain Issues

November, 2021
Good afternoon, 

One of the goals of our partnership is to provide regular updates and to be as transparent as possible with activities that impact our local teams. As you've undoubtedly seen over the last few months, there has been a lot of discussion about the global supply chain and the stress on child nutrition programs both nationally and here in Pennsylvania. For the most part we have been rather insulated, however, today we received news from our primary distributor and that they are making some changes over the next several weeks that will have a greater impact. 
What Is Happening in Southeastern Pennsylvania

Today, our distribution partner alerted us to additional deterioration in both product availability and their service capability given ongoing labor challenges both in the warehouse and with delivery. As a result, they have limited their number of deliveries and have reduced their capacity by 25% into the first week of December. We are working closely with them to prioritize as much as possible, and they are taking the situation very seriously. For example, they explained that hiring and training a high percentage of the workforce will take likely until the end of December and they feel relatively confident that the operational challenges will be abated by then. 

What You Can Expect

Let me reiterate that our dedicated teams will continue to demonstrate their flexibility and resourcefulness in making sure every student is fed. However, we ask for you and your school community's continued flexibility, patience and understanding because we anticipate there will be:

  • Menu substitutions, given more limited delivery times and vendor capacity
  • Alternative items to some of students' favorites, given that product availability continues to get tighter, especially around what we call "center of the plate" items that are compliant with the USDA's National School Lunch Program Understanding parents and students may have more questions, we have found this video from the School Nutrition Association helpful in explaining the current situation and encourage you to share it with your school community as it is helpful: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sEwOa9Mx7WQ

 

What We're Doing Now

We are working with our team to ensure they have the necessary support and we are spending a significant amount of time behind-the-scenes identifying alternative sources for items - including some very local - as well as utilizing some non-traditional vendors for things like paper goods.

 

I can't stress enough our commitment to you and to your students, but I would be remiss if I didn't provide background on the additional strain on the system and how it is impacting our team locally. We are lucky to have excellent leaders in our districts and can assure you we are doing everything we can to work collaboratively and continue to meet your students' needs despite these national issues. 


Please feel free to reach out with any questions, concerns or need for further clarity. 

Warm Regards, 

Gene Sanchez

RVP, Chartwells K12

[email protected]

215-622-2134 


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