Ala. schools look for new milk vendor after Borden plants close

Published: Sep. 15, 2022 at 8:45 PM EDT
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ALABAMA (WTVM) - Alabama schools are struggling to find new milk suppliers following the closure of two Borden Dairy production plants, one in Alabama.

News Leader 9 spoke with officials from each of the four county school districts in East Alabama on the plans for these districts to provide milk for school lunches.

The Borden plant in Dothan, Alabama and the other in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, officially closes in 2 weeks. After speaking with county school nutritionists who say they received an email in early August, some were able to find replacement vendors, and others are still struggling.

Two dairy plants that provide milk to several Alabama School districts will close by the end of this month. That’s leaving school officials scrambling to find ways to provide milk for students.

Russell County schools tell me they are speaking with the child nutrition state department Thursday evening about their next steps in finding a replacement vendor. As for Phenix City Schools, they have already switched vendors.

Barbour County Child Nutrition Director William Graham says once they found out Borden was no longer an option as a vendor, Eufaula dairy immediately took over.

“Same delivery, same great service now it’s just not Borden its Eufaula Dairy,” said Graham.

Chambers County Child Nutrition Director Adria Staton says they are still talking to vendors about a reasonable price that matches near what they were paying for Borden.

“We look at cost, and delivery days and times we can get, reliability of the product for all the students at Chambers County,” said Staton.

In Lee County, Auburn schools have secured True Moo through Forest wood Farms out of Birmingham.

Opelika Child Nutrition Director Lee Lynn says Borden deliveries came three times a week, providing up to 3,000 to 5,000 cartons for each school in Opelika per week, and they are hoping to find a vendor to continue the same delivery process.

“I’ve had a good response from different vendors that I’ve contacted, and they responded back so we should know by the end of this week,” said Lynn.

All counties that are still deciding on vendors say they will make a decision before October 1st.