RICHMOND, Ky. — School cafeterias across the nation and Kentucky continue to experience supply chain issues.
"We all know that you can't teach a hungry child," said Scott Anderson, a former food service director.
But Anderson hopes to ease those burdens by offering practical solutions to school districts across the country.
"Right now with limitations on the ability to get certain products, schools are struggling. You can't get chicken. You can't get beef. You get things that you're not used to cooking," Anderson said.
He’s taking what he’s learned as a food service director for the past seven years in Madison County and spreading farm-to-table ideas from locally-sourced ingredients across the nation.
"A lot of school districts, they're short on cash. They don't know how to go out there and reach farmers. With supply and demand, they just can't get the product that they need," Anderson said.
His daily tasks focus on healthy school meals.
"School food service is very important because for a lot of kids, that's the only meal they're going to get that day. A lot of students rely on schools for food. They rely on the nutrition and things that we give them," Anderson said.
It's the nutrition he creates in Madison County that will now travel across the country to bridge the gap and show other school chefs and cooks how to create with what’s available in their regions.
"There's a disconnect on how to be creative. They are afraid of the steak, they're afraid to use spices and they want to know that they're not alone — that other school districts out there are struggling as well," Anderson said.
From that struggle are also solutions he said many school districts have resolved, such as building relationships with local farmers to source local meats or produce.
"But there are a lot of districts out there who are doing great things and they're doing some phenomenal things with food, and parents and students and directors need to know that," Anderson said.
Anderson will join a production company called Demo Cooks. He’ll travel to school districts across the nation and demo new recipes, and share them on a YouTube channel. He’ll also provide instructional videos on learning and working with USDA.