Mid-Michigan food banks impacted by supply shortages

Mid-Michigan food banks impacted by supply shortages
Published: Feb. 7, 2022 at 7:38 PM EST
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HASLETT, Mich. (WILX) - If you’ve noticed your grocery store aisles are looking more and more empty these days, you’re not alone.

Grocery store shortages are back and it’s hurting more than just store owners.

Workers at Monticello’s Market & Butcher Block in Haslett said they’re seeing shortages like nothing they’ve seen before. Everything from paper to olive oil is difficult for people to get their hands on. It’s not just stores, food banks are impacted too.

Just like at the beginning of the pandemic nearly two years ago, getting everyday groceries is a growing issue.

“What a lot of people don’t understand is it’s not only that our supply houses, but it’s the truckers that bring the product and all their lives are affected too,” said Margie Potter, with Monticello’s Market.

Everyday goods are getting harder for stores to access, creating a domino effect of issues. It’s causing some stores to go under.

“It’s been sad to not see them be able to hang on through the pandemic,” Potter said. “It was lack of product too on their end.”

One of the key players is a lack of packaging products throughout the supply chain.

“Containers and bags,” Potter said. “Anything on that category has been really difficult to keep in and keep supplied.”

“Packaging is really impacting a lot of the reason that we’re not able to get food,” said Michelle Lantz, CEO of Greater Lansing Food Bank. “So tin, during the pandemic, aluminum plants, tin, steel were all shut down and that hasn’t caught up with the demand yet.”

Food banks said they can’t keep their shelves stocked either, adding some trucks that were scheduled to arrive in January won’t arrive until June. They said food security is a growing concern.

“Those who already aren’t able to afford a full months worth of meals are being hit the hardest,” Lantz said.

Ingham County -- which has a food insecurity of 13.8% -- hasn’t seen changes in that rate recently, but Lantz said the empty shelves could change that.

“Our concerns for the community is that we wouldn’t be able to get enough of the products in that folks really need on their shelves to turn around and get it back out to the community,” Lantz said.

One example of an issue at the food bank is all their pasta orders are either delayed or canceled April through June, Lantz said.

The best way to help is to donate to local food banks.

More information on the Greater Lansing Food Bank can be found on its official website here.

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