ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Senator Chuck Schumer announced a milk carton shortage across New York State.

On Monday, Senator Schumer urged the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to acknowledge and fix the milk packaging supply chain issue.

New York State is home to more than 3,200 dairy farms and is the fifth-largest dairy state in the country, producing 15.66 billion pounds of milk in 2022.

Farmers, schools, nursing homes, and other institutions could be negatively affected by this shortage, according to the senator. He claims to have heard of schools being forced to alter their milk deliveries and find other ways to distribute the milk, using plastic cups and the like.

Monroe One Education Services and the Rochester City School District dealt with the shortage in different ways earlier this month.

“Milk is an essential part of our students’ school lunches and the lifeblood of our Upstate NY agricultural economy, but with a national milk carton shortage looming over our schools, now is the time for the USDA to step up to ensure our farmers get more support to continue their essential work. That is why I am calling on the USDA to start to work with industry leaders to address this shortage we are seeing nationwide, and provide all the leadership and technical support needed to help our New York dairy farmers,” said Senator Schumer.

Amy Thomas, Executive Director of the Monroe County School Boards Association said, “We want to thank Senator Schumer for his advocacy on behalf of our schools and students. Our districts are working diligently along with our dairy suppliers to find solutions to this shortage, and we are grateful for Senator Schumer’s efforts to ensure these disruptions are addressed.”

In his letter, Senator Schumer asks the USDA to investigate the cause of the shortage and to determine a resolution for future issues of this nature.