With coronavirus cases continuing to rise and several schools starting the school year virtually, there is concern for what that will mean for the United States Department of Agriculture’s school meal programs and for dairy producers.
The national school lunch program serves about 5 billion lunches in a fiscal year and provides more than 20 million free lunches to students, with federal spending totaling $14 million. But right now, some food providers are reporting that they are not getting many orders. One industry expert telling Food Business News that in the spring when schools were shut down, some were still able to do meal distribution but at lower volumes. Now, they expect schools across the country will not reopen and that will dent demand for products such as fluid milk and cheese.