Alabama schools battling food shortages amid pandemic

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Cayce Davis inspects lunch entrees at Redland Elementary School in Wetumpka, Ala., on Sept. 8, 2021. Davis leads the child nutrition staff for Elmore County Schools and has coordinated the district’s efforts to stay ahead of food and labor shortages. (Savannah Tryens-Fernandes/The Alabama Education Lab/AL.com via AP)

AP

Cayce Davis spends hours of her day on the phone.

As child nutrition director for Elmore County schools, she has to call their three food distributors to figure out which food products they actually have and what they can substitute. She has to see if her district’s impromptu food stockpile in a warehouse can meet needs. Then she has to figure out if orders will arrive in time for her short-handed staff to prep and cook 14,000 meals.

Last night, she woke up to a 3 a.m. text from a staff member calling in sick and had to make sure

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