SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — Chicken, lettuce, and cookies are just some of the foods school lunch providers are struggling to provide.

Mike Penne oversees school lunches for the South Sioux City schools. He said these shortages started when the pandemic began and they can vary from week to week.

“We’re having a hard time getting even chicken nuggets sometimes,” Penne said. “I just noticed today I’m having a hard time getting gravy mixes and stuff like that.”

Schools have substituted chicken for beef or cookies for cakes and they’ve made these adjustments on a short notice. Deni Winter is the Vice President of Purchasing and Sales for Lunchtime Solutions which provided meals for schools across Siouxland. Winter said shortages have complicated school lunch plans.

“They’re causing people to change menus daily,” Winter said. “They might be expecting to get a shipment of certain foods in for that day and they get shorted.”

Winter said she hopes the upcoming Christmas break will give providers an opportunity to catch up to these shortages.