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According to information released by the Walla Walla School District, they and others in WA state, and across the nation, are dealing with a shortage of those half-pint school milk cartons.  There's plenty of milk, just not enough cartons.

Shortage felt from WA to New York

According to the WWSD, as well as King 5 TV in Seattle, there are a variety of reasons why the shortage has come up.

According to the school district:

"The national cardboard packaging shortage is a result of several complex factors, including disruptions caused by the COVID pandemic and increased demand for packaging materials, particularly in the e-commerce sector. While milk is still available in stores, the packaging we require for our half-pint cartons is becoming increasingly scarce, and the district must adapt to this challenge."

With a move in some food service sectors away from styrofoam and plastic, additional demand has been placed for cardboard for food serving.

Like many districts, Walla Walla is putting together a plan to minimize disruption until supplies increase.  Many school districts also help with community food service programs, and this has placed additional strain on those.

Officials say there's no shortage of milk, just the cartons. The issue began in October, with a number of dairies reporting they were having trouble getting the smaller cartons as well.

This shortage does not appear to be affecting the larger quart or half-gallon sizes as much, but the demand for the half-pint cartons is much higher--especially because those are the ones utilized in schools.

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Officials do not have any timetable as to when the shortage might ease.

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Gallery Credit: Cooper Fox (B98.5) and Cameron (The Breeze 103.9)


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