Tuscaloosa City Schools Braces for Milk Shortage Ahead of Plant Closures
The Tuscaloosa City Schools system is bracing for a milk shortage as two major dairy plants prepare to permanently close at the end of September.
In a Thursday morning email, a TCS spokesperson said Borden Dairy will close its plants in Dothan, Alabama and Hattiesburg, Mississippi on September 30th.
Borden produces and supplies the lion's share of the 736,000 half-pint milk cartons that students consume in Alabama every week, according to data from the Alabama State Department of Education’s Child Nutrition Program.
The Tuscaloosa City Schools said they go through around 35,000 of the half-pint cartons in their 21 schools alone.
The system's Child Nutrition Program department is looking into other options, but TCS CNP Director Billy Nichols said there are no local dairy producers who are capable of immediately replacing the supply Borden produced and provided.
TCS said the U.S. Department of Agriculture oversees school lunch programs nationwide and they have been notified of the dairy closures.
The Borden half-cartons will continue to be served through the month of September, and TCS will continue to search for alternative options. They also told parents students will always have water available to them and can bring their own milk if necessary.
For more on this situation as it develops, stay connected to the Tuscaloosa Thread.