Area schools brace for upcoming milk shortage
By WVUA 23 News Reporter Elise Anzaldua
TUSCALOOSA – Tuscaloosa City Schools is bracing for a milk shortage that will affect more than 100 other school districts in Alabama. The shortage is because of the scheduled closing of Borden dairy plants in Dothan and Hattiesburg, Mississippi.
Borden produces most of the 736,000 half-pint cartons of milk distributed to 422,000 students in Alabama each week, according to the Alabama State Department of Education’s Child Nutrition Program. Tuscaloosa City Schools goes through about 35,000 cartons per week. Tuscaloosa City Schools is looking into other options, but there are no other local dairy plants that can take over supply right away.
WVUA 23 News reached out to Tuscaloosa City Schools for comment but did not hear back.
Clinical Dietician and Registered Nurse Virginia Davis said this has the potential to make a big impact.
“These children depend on milk for good nutrition,” Davis said. “This may be the only two meals that many children who attend Tuscaloosa City Schools get in a day. It’s a really big deal. We need to start looking at adequate substitutions, whether that be calcium from cheese and yogurt or if we switch to more plant-based milks.”
Tuscaloosa City Schools will serve Borden milk until the plants close at the end of September. After that, TCS said it welcomes families packing milk for their children.