Schools across Cheyenne are struggling to supply enough milk to their students, Laramie County School District 1 said Tuesday.

"This year, due to the effects of the pandemic, we are experiencing unprecedented supply-chain challenges," LCSD1 Nutrition Services Administrator Carla Bankes said in a news release.

Bankes says her department has been able to ward off other pandemic-caused food shortages by purchasing larger quantities and using direct shipments, but because milk is perishable and the shortage is widespread, they don't have a ready solution and are encouraging students to bring refillable water bottles.

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"We continue to problem solve," she said. "Whatever is served must align with the National Food Program. We have evaluated other options including bottled water, but there is also bottling shortage."

Bankes says the shortages could also impact schools at different times, causing some schools to have milk or other items when others don't.

"We ask parents and staff to be patient as we work through this nationwide shortage," she said. "With a little grace, we will navigate these issues just as we have done throughout the pandemic."

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