Food service no easy chore

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If you think you have a hard time handling grocery shopping, consider the plight of Shelley Ingram.

As director of the Franklin School District’s 15-employee, $1.1 million budget doos service program, she is finding you can't always get what you want.

“In the past when we have our menu we would put our grocery orders in up to Tuesday for Thursday delivery,” she said. Now if I would order Aug. 1, it's for delivery Aug 25. I have to order three weeks out and pray that it's going to come in.

“I’d take 2020 over what I'm dealing with right now,” she said.

In anticipation of food shortages, Ingram took USDA commodity funds and went ahead and ordered a school year’s worth of frozen chicken products.

“We got what we hope to use,” she said. “We foresaw chicken would be an issue this year.”

Forget getting boiled eggs to enhance chicken salad dishes, they are not available right now. 

As a community eligible school, with a large number of low-income students, all students eat free of charge.

At Franklin School, there is sufficient staffing and equipment and service lines to offer more than one main entree, while at ABC School there is one main entree as well as light meals, like peanut butter and jelly or a chef salad and chicken salad if available.

The district also services breakfast as well as the after-school programs at the Nest In Carrabelle and the Eastpoint UMC Church, as well as Project Impact in Apalachicola at the city municipal complex.

She said the district mostly orders from food purveyor Sysco out of Gulf Coast, Alabama. “On  Wednesday Sysco may send an email that says ‘by the way these 12 items won't make the truck,” and we have to scramble to change menus. 

“I have to scramble to change menus,” she said. “We don't know if cereal will even show up.”

food service, Franklin County, USDA

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