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Supply chain delays impact Montana schools

Posted at 4:21 PM, Nov 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-15 11:33:33-05

FRENCHTOWN — COVID-19 case numbers may be down, but we are still feeling the aftermath.

Supply shortages are affecting all aspects of life right now and one place feeling the hit is schools. As they tend to their students, they are having to make adjustments and substitutions.

About 20 minutes east of Missoula is Frenchtown Schools, home to 1,400 students. Superintendent Les Meyer and his staff have been hard at work trying to make adjustments in supplies that just aren’t rolling in on time.

The schools' maintenance, transportation, and food departments have been waiting on supplies or parts for months. Some parts since May and some supplies finally coming in, but late.

“But we ordered new textbooks last winter-spring and normally we get those right at the end of the year right, beginning of the summer," said Meyer. "We didn't get those new textbooks until end of October, first part of November.”

One part of supply delays the school is dealing with is food.

Meyer said they are having to make substitutions on their menu as the food orders roll in later than expected. Making sure that the quality is still up to standard when making those substitutions is important.

“And then what's weird is we've already had to make an adjustment to the menu for next Thursday because we can't get sliced meat,” Meyer told MTN News.

Meyer acknowledges that these supply issues are frustrating at times, but he said it is just the way it is right now, so having patience and being understanding is key.

“We can work around it, it’s just not the normal of what we do,” said Meyer.