The Henderson Dining Hall at UF and students living off campus are having to change up their normal meal plans due to supply chain shortages
By Corinthia Webster
University of Findlay students may notice some of their favorite menu items have been removed from the dining hall rotation this year. It’s the same reason off-campus students are struggling to find their favorites at the grocery store: supply shortages.
There are several factors contributing to the food shortage across the nation. An article featured in NPR by Joe Hernandez explains why people have been seeing less food than normal. Labor shortages, the coronavirus Omicron variant, and winter storms are slowing supplies to shelves.
Jeff Sayre, the Resident Dining Manager at Henderson Dining Hall at UF says it’s getting tough to find meals to fit the budget. With an increase in the price of food, some meals that would normally be offered have become too expensive and have had to be removed from the menu rotation at Henderson.
The decrease in supply has caused changes in everyday meals for University of Findlay students both on and off-campus. Alicyn McClish, a senior forensic biology major, lives off-campus and has to shop at grocery stores to get her food.
“I’ve definitely had to switch brands before,” McClish said. “Sometimes I have to go back to the store a few times to get things I need for the week.” She also doubles meals to make groceries stretch during the week.
McClish has also noticed that her grocery bill has been increasing in price recently. Along with an increased grocery bill, she has had to go out to restaurants and eat because she cannot always get ahold of the ingredients needed to make a meal.
“We’ll get fast food quite a bit. And we’ll door dash from something like Bob Evans or cracker barrel, stuff like that. So we don’t necessarily go and sit down at a restaurant, but we pick up food quite a bit,” she explained.
Sayre says that facing shortages at Henderson has been a problem. “[It’s] more challenging than last semester.” Sayre said
He says the number of products they can get in varies week by week but for the most part UF students have been understanding.
“Produce is very steady,” Sayre said. McClish has also seen the same thing in grocery stores, that normally the produce and meat seem to normally be in stock like they were before the shortage hit. She did add that she has extra meat in her freezer incase meat becomes hard to get ahold of as well.
“Convenience items seem to be hit pretty hard,” Sayre explained. He then added that some of the things that they have struggled the most with are things like cereal, muffin mix, and even soy and almond milk.
While companies have been able to produce the specialty kinds of milk, Sayre said the reason they have struggled to keep them in has to do with the plastic bags they are shipped in. The suppliers have struggled to keep the bags in stock and cannot ship the milk without it.
Sayre has also struggled to keep disposables like cups and containers in stock. To get ahold of them he has had to switch to more plastics and also changed suppliers for these products.
“We can’t just go and drop money on whatever you want to.” McClish said. “You got to be careful.”