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AISD's Meal Suppliers Are Facing Worker Shortages, Forcing Schools To Make Changes To Lunch Menus

Students file in and out of the cafeteria during lunch.
Michael Minasi
Students file in and out of the cafeteria during lunch on Aug. 26, 2021, at Summitt Elementary School in Austin.

The Austin Independent School District says worker shortages are affecting its cafeterias.

Officials said sometimes AISD is not receiving food orders from suppliers who are facing staffing shortages, forcing the district to make changes to its lunch menus.

AISD is also looking to fill about 100 positions in its own kitchens.

District officials said meal service will continue but the food options might change.

“We’ll still prepare delicious, healthy foods for our students. It might just be different than what they were expecting,” the statement said.

All AISD students can receive free meals all year regardless of family income. The district’s daily menus, nutritional information and allergens can be checked at

The pandemic has led many employees to reconsider their careers or left them feeling burnt out, causing staffing shortages in many industries across the country, including hospitals, airlines, hotels and restaurants.

In Austin, Capital Metro said earlier this month it would slash bus frequency in some routes because of driver shortages. AISD schools have also faced teacher shortages.

Dani Matias is a former producer and fill-in host for KUT's Morning Edition show.
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