Food Shortages Already Hitting Tens Of Thousands Amidst The COVID-19 Crisis
Food Shortages Already Hitting Tens Of Thousands Amidst The COVID-19 Crisis By Susan Duclos – All News PipeLine
– And Now We’re Warned Of: ‘Severe, Disastrous, Repercussions For Many In The Supply Chain’
Due to the nationwide lockdown measures taken by each state to stop the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, and the closing of businesses deemed “non-essential,” and the fear from workers in businesses that are considered “essential,” as well as schools across the nation being shuttered temporarily, the food industry is taking a massive hit and the shortages for tens of thousands of Americans have already begun.
Between people losing their jobs and not being able to afford grocery shopping, food plants closing, grocery store workers becoming ill and others scared to even go to work, along with farmers forced to dump harvest because the businesses that they sold to are closed for an indefinite amount of time, with others ending up closing permanent, we see this has led to “food lines,” the type of which hasn’t been seen for decades upon decades.
All that and so much more will be discussed below.
MEATS, FARMERS AND FOOD SHORTAGES………………
Recently we at ANP and others reported on meat processing facilities for both Tyson and JBS had to close plants after employees fell ill. Now we another domino falls as Smithsfield is shutting a pork plant indefinitely, and issuing a dire warning about upcoming food shortages in the process.
Smithfield extended the closure of its Sioux Falls, South Dakota, plant after initially saying it would idle temporarily for cleaning. The facility is one of the nation’s largest pork processing facilities, representing 4% to 5% of U.S. pork production, according to the company.
South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem said on Saturday that 238 Smithfield employees had active cases of the new coronavirus, accounting for 55% of the state’s total. Noem and the mayor of Sioux Falls had recommended the company shut the plant, which has about 3,700 workers, for at least two weeks.
“It is impossible to keep our grocery stores stocked if our plants are not running,” Smithfield Chief Executive Ken Sullivan said in a statement on Sunday. “These facility closures will also have severe, perhaps disastrous, repercussions for many in the supply chain, first and foremost our nation’s livestock farmers.”
Meat plant workers are also walking off the job due to the dangers and the unsafe working conditions, which is putting more strain on those still up and running…at least for now.
Many of those same livestock farmers were already trying to make up for losses after the mid-west flooding in 2019 killed off a significant portion of livestock… and now this.
On the other side of the food chain, we see that farmers are dumping 3.7 million gallons of milk, a day, while forced to dump their vegetable harvests back into the ground because of the closures of schools restaurants, hotels and other businesses that bought their products.
Farmers are dumping 3.7 million gallons of milk daily and a single chicken processor can smash 750,000 eggs per week, reports Dairy Farmers of America, the largest dairy farm cooperative in the country.
The International Dairy Foods Association also estimates that farmers are currently dumping about 5 per cent of the milk supply in the U.S.
Many are also are being forced to bury fresh vegetables, or in some cases, donate them to organizations like Meals on Wheels.
Limited resources and money, however, are making it difficult to provide the donations.
Since grocery stores and other establishments, like Walmart, Costco and others are limiting the number of certain sought-after items, and some limiting the amount of people allowed in their stores at one time, we do note that some, I repeat some, restocking is finally able to happen, although that is only the items that the stores have in stock or were able to get more of delivered.
With that said, grocery stores being one of the “essential” businesses allowed to stay open across the country, have become ripe for spreading the coronavirus infection.
Next to health-care providers, no workforce has proved more essential during the novel coronavirus pandemic than the 3 million U.S. grocery store employees who restock shelves and freezers, fill online orders and keep checkout lines moving. Although the public health guidelines are clear – steer clear of others – these workers are putting in longer shifts and taking on bigger workloads. Many report being stressed and scared, especially as their colleagues fall ill to covid-19, the highly contagious disease responsible for more than 20,000 deaths in the U.S. alone.
Some liken their job to working in a war zone, knowing that the simple act of showing up to work could ultimately kill them. At least 41 supermarket employees have died – including a Trader Joe’s worker in New York, a Safeway employee in Chicago, two Walmart associates near Chicago, and four Kroger employees in Michigan. Thousands more have tested positive for the virus.
The pandemic is also causing issues for the very people we are so dependent on to deliver food to the grocery stores, meaning truckers.
The challenges described by truckers include a number of basic needs they are finding a hard time fulfilling, such as finding rest stops and bathrooms, and in some cases even getting food while on the road. That doesn’t even include the challenges of how truckers are being treated with those they are delivering to not wanting contact so forcing them to change their methods of delivery.
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