Food supply is intact
For the first time in most of our lives, Americans are confronting grocery stores with rows of empty shelves and long waiting lines. While many of us have experienced minor shortages of bread and milk during hurricanes and snowstorms, those have only been temporary, lasting just a day or two.
Shortages of meat, rice, milk, bread and dozens of other food items have Americans worried about our food supply chains. And that alarm is triggering panic-buying as shoppers purchase far greater quantities of supplies than normal, which in turn is causing even greater shortages and longer resupply delays.
Tuesday’s news story “There Is Plenty of Food in the Country” in The New York Times sought to reassure readers that despite the empty grocery shelves, American food supplies remain plentiful. The nation’s retailers, farmers and meat producers say the food supply chain is strong. In fact, it has been revving up to meet the sometimes frenzied demands of shoppers who are stockpiling supplies.
There is no breakdown of our food supply — we’re just buying it faster than suppliers can restock. Julie Anna Potts, CEO of the North American Meat Institute, told The Times that food remains plentiful throughout the nation.
According to SupermarketNews.com — the go-to source for news and information for executives in the food and grocery industries — supermarket trade groups say they are “working closely with federal, state and local officials to ensure ready access to grocery stores and the safety of the food supply chain.” During a conference call Sunday with the White House, retailers and manufacturing executives assured the administration and the nation that there’s no reason to crowd stores or hoard supplies.
Grocers and suppliers have one message for Americans: Please don’t panic.
Supplies are getting restocked. But that can only happen so fast. If we all practice patience and prudence and take only what we need, those empty shelves will soon return to normal. Remember, we can only get through this by working together.
— Robin Beres