Got Milk? Area Schools Say 'Yes,' Despite Dairy Closing
Golden Guernsey in Waukesha closed without warning on Saturday, leaving area school districts finding other companies for their milk needs.
Area school officials say they are not concerned about the ability to supply local children despite the abrupt closing of a Waukesha milk processing plant over the weekend.
When employees of Golden Guernsey, started reporting the Waukesha dairy factory had abruptly shut down, some people were worried about the ability of school districts to obtain milk for students.
A school official for the Slinger School District told Today’s TMJ4 that schools there will run out of milk by Wednesday.
However, officials at several school districts in the Milwaukee area say they don't envision problems with having milk for their students.
The Waukesha School District will have milk on hand as schools start for the week on Monday. “Our food service company will get it from another company,” said Superintendent Todd Gray.
“We have worked it out for Greenfield and the co-op we belong to,” said Greenfield Superintendent Conrad Farner. “We are getting milk from another distributor and already received our deliveries this morning. There will be some sorting out to do over the next few days, but as of now our services should not be interrupted.”
The Elmbrook School District is part of that same co-op, so the schools in Brookfield and Elm Grove will not have a milk shortage. Elmbrook Food and Nutrition Director Cheryl Piel said resolving the issue is "very important" because milk is a component of the federal lunch program.
"We have to offer it. We can't just say, 'Have water today,'" Piel said. "The only difference may be the color of the cartons."
The Muskego School District, which already gets its milk from Dean Foods, is not worried about supply. Same for the Port Washington-Saukville School District, who already gets their milk from Kemp's, according to Superintendent Michael Weber.
Sodexo, which contracts with the Wauwatosa School District for school lunch service, purchases Kemp's milk and will not be affected by the plant closing, said company spokesman Gregory Yost.
It’s still unknown what the plant’s closing means in the long-term for Waukesha and area farmers. Waukesha Patch has left voicemails with OpenGate Capital – the investment firm that owns Golden Guernsey.
The Department of Workforce Development has not been informed of the plant’s closing.