Coronavirus Coverage from KARK

Grocery store shelves empty, supply chain, covid-19 shortages and winter storm

Business

LITTLE ROCK, Ark – Shelves were empty at some grocery stores in Little Rock Friday as supply chain issues continue all before a winter storm.

“Peanut butter shortage, paper towels, even the chip aisles are short,” said shopper Butch Isom.

Isom was out Friday doing his weekly grocery shopping. He says shelves have been empty for months.

“The fruit sometimes is non-existent,” Isom said.

Supply Chain issues are causing food shortages across the country. According to the Consumer Brand Association, normal food shortages usually hover around 5 to 10 percent. The company says right now, shortages are up to 15 percent.

“Seems like every week we’re getting shorter and shorter in supply,” said Uncle T’s Food Mart owner William Woods.

Woods says the shortages are impacting smaller grocery stores like his. He says it’s been difficult to get cold cuts for months.

“Back in the day we’d get an order every week,” Woods said. “We get them once every two weeks now.

Woods says the delivery supply could also be a result of staffing shortages due to Covid and the growing Omicron Variant.

He says on top of the short supply, he’s seeing more foot traffic, leading up to Arkansas’ first winter storm of the season.

He says he wanted to make it a priority to get on top of the problem before aisles are completely empty.

“Sometimes we have two different delivery trucks come in. That way if one is short, the other can pick up the slack,” Woods said.

Woods says he expects the shortage to continue to go up and down for the next few weeks.

His and other grocery stores have also been dealing with staffing shortages of their own, with employees out due to sickness. He is encouraging everyone who may be out shopping this week to remain patient.

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