Summer camp is a rite of passage for many Americans. Day camps and stay camps care for millions of kids each summer while parents are working. But now a new problem has emerged at some camps, food shortages.
Camps in New Hampshire are reporting that they can’t get enough food to feed their campers and that logistical and labor at foodservice companies are forcing them to shut down camp for the summer. The Concord Monitor reports:
The summer was barely getting started at Camp Quinebarge in Moultonborough when it abruptly ended.
On July 2, the camp’s directors informed parents the camp was closing immediately due to an ongoing lack of staff and a sudden problem getting food deliveries from their supplier, Sysco.
“While we can work through many issues at camp, this is not one in our control. Many camps are facing the prospect of closing today,” the camp’s leaders wrote. “This is obviously an untenable situation. A few minutes ago I was forced to inform our staff we will close down for the summer, beginning tomorrow.”
Multiple other summer camps across New Hampshire have been experiencing similar trouble with staffing and food suppliers.
Camp Huckins in Freedom had issues with their main food vendor Performance Food Group.
“We were impacted when PFG stopped their seasonal deliveries to camps because they had a shortage of drivers, as they were a major provider for us,” said Executive Director Heather Kiley.
However, Kiley said they were able to rely more on other suppliers to keep the camp running.
A PFG spokesperson said that delays were a result of supply chain issues and a labor shortage that have been affecting the whole industry. Because of the issues the company would be unable to meet the needs of every camp and that customers would be given advanced notice of delays.
Just down the road in Freedom, Camp Calumet was also struggling to get food deliveries from Sysco. Executive Director Karl Ogren thinks the issue is more the result of the overall labor shortage than with any food supplier in particular.
“The problem is widespread and it does not seem fair to just blame Sysco. Other food suppliers are not delivering at all. The supply chain seems to be very broken,” Ogren said.
Action Line: Your Survival Guy would probably start serving these kids SPAM and sardines from the pantry, but now their parents will be scrambling to find daycare and food of their own to feed the kids displaced from camp. Make sure you and your family have enough food stored up to get you through any periods of shortage you may face.