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Reopened schools are buying so much milk, it’s shaking up supply

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Schools reopening after being shut down since early 2020 are a major source of demand for milk.

By Elizabeth Elkin

Schools are purchasing so much milk in preparation for in-person learning that supplies are drying up, and there’s not enough to go around. 

Bottlers are saying that orders resemble pre-pandemic levels, and some cheesemakers are being forced to switch from using milk to powdered varieties because they aren’t able to buy enough of the liquid, according to an Agriculture Department report.

Prices for milk on spot markets are closer to 2019 prices than when schools were closed for the last year, the agency said.

Schools are a major source of demand for milk, which they need to provide calcium in children’s lunches. Many are finally reopening after being shut down since early 2020. 

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