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Volunteer efforts within Sylacauga City School system help combat supply chain issues


SYLACAUGA, Ala. – The Sylacauga City School (SCS) system saw individuals go above and beyond to deliver food items on Tuesday, Jan. 11.

Due to supply chain issues that have been exacerbated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the rapid spread of the Omicron variant, the SCS system were having difficulties receiving a shipment of 212 cases of USDA commodity foods.

SCS Child Nutrition and Wellness Director Kelly Wassermann has been dealing with the supply chain issues since last summer. Knowing the mounting issue facing the school system, she and other volunteers sprung into action.

“I rented a U-Haul truck and one of our bus drivers, Jason Smith, drove it to Clanton with me,” said Wassermann. “The distributors, like ours in Clanton, are the ones caught in the middle of the supply chain problems and the pandemic affects their drivers as much as it does everyone else.”

After loading the shipment at Merchants Foodservice in Clanton, the pair returned to Sylacauga High School where SHS principal Matthew Hodge allowed them to store the food packages meant for all of the schools in the system.

That’s when a host of extra volunteers, including students from Mrs. Randi Roberts and Mrs. Kari Layton’s classes, helped unload all 212 cases to store and properly order.

“It is heart-warming to see the way people have stepped up to help,” Wassermann said, “even if it is outside their scope of regular duties.”

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