School districts in New York are being affected by a nationwide shortage of milk carton material.

Notably, districts in the Rochester and Central New York regions are among those reporting being impacted by the shortage so far.

The Rochester City School District says as a result, it will not be able to provide milk with school meals. It will instead offer juice as an extra fruit option until the issue is resolved. 

According to the Greece Central School District, milk will continue to be served in cups at both the elementary and secondary levels.

The North Syracuse Central School District says the shortage is expected to last several months. It says suppliers are working to find alternative packaging. In the meantime, the district's food service staff has come up with a contingency plan with alternative beverage options.

The Fayetteville-Manlius School District says it is considering replacing milk with bottled water or buying milk in bulk and serving it in cups.

Other districts in the state are also working on alternatives to adapt to the shortage.

The New York State Education Department addressed the issue saying regulations are in place that allow districts to serve meals during an emergency period with an alternate form of fluid milk or without fluid milk.

The following statement is posted on the department's website:

"Although Program operators are expected to meet the fluid milk requirements to the greatest extent possible, supply chain disruptions, including disruptions that limit milk variety or affect serving size, would be considered a temporary emergency condition for purposes of this flexibility. Because this is an existing regulatory flexibility, a waiver is not required."