Grocery stores are starting to see empty shelves again

Grocery stores are starting to see empty shelves again
Published: Oct. 4, 2021 at 5:33 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - When the pandemic began in 2020, there was a shortage of nearly everything from toilet paper to hospital supplies.

When the vaccines began to be administered in the spring.. stores saw some relief from the low stocks but shelves are beginning to look empty again.

“We’re doing the best we can, we’re just out of some stuff,” said Ryan Meyer, manager at Grocery Mart.

“What we’re seeing now is the long-term effects coming out of that, not enough employees, too many people on unemployment, transportation is a big issue, product ingredients, packaging for products, anything that you could think of that’s associated with food there tends to be an issue,” said Stephen Salisbury, district manager at warehouses located around South Dakota, Western Nebraska, Wyoming, and Colorado.

The country has put in efforts in order to support the food supply chain, such as giving 55 million dollars worth of grants to modernize small plants and help them expand their markets and 100 million dollars in grants for facilities to use toward potential overtime expenses resulting from the pandemic.

Monday, The United States Department of Agriculture announced a new loan guarantee program to strengthen America’s food supply chain and combat disruptions caused by the pandemic.

“All of what we’re doing, in providing small and very small facilities to remain in business, to assist them to expand market opportunity, to potentially build over time through process and capacity, all of that is going to stabilize the market and make it a more resilient supply chain,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

Trickling down the now stable chain, you would then be able to see your favorite foods again.

“Which hopefully over time, and with expanded process and capacity will also result in fair returns for our producers and fair prices at the checkout counter for our consumers,” said Secretary Vilsack.

However, Salisbury says it could take years to see exactly what you want on your grocery store’s shelf again.

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