Some store shelves empty as pandemic pressure wreaks havoc

QUINCY, Mass. — Finding your favorite foods may be harder this past month. A combination of bad winter weather and a shortage of workers, from people who stock shelves with food to those who deliver it, are all causing supermarkets locally and across the country to see some bare shelves.

“It’s horrible you can’t find any decent red meat for a decent price,” said John Engrassia from Quincy

Engrassia says finding his beloved steaks is hard but the price hikes are really tough to take.

“I don’t wanna say double the price but close to double the price of a basic steak strips or stuff like that,” he said.

In November, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says in the last year:

  • Supermarket foods prices rose 6.4%
  • Meat, poultry, fish and eggs were up 12.8%

“I think the prices are outrageous, especially bacon - it’s ridiculous,” said Marie Keddy of Quincy.

A supply chain expert says it’s not a food shortage but a worker one.

“People are either quarantining or they are basically testing positive for this. Some folks are just deciding to eat more at home,” said Seckin Ozkul who is the Director of the USF Supply Chain Innovation Lab.

One local mother says she’s running in circles trying to get what she needs.

“Yes, so I shop at Shaws, Stop & Shop and Roche Bros. Depending and I’m at all of them normally in the same week trying to find my stuff,” said Jamie Foley of Braintree.

Supply chain experts tell people to be patient, as there may be some relief in the Spring. But for many, their pandemic patience has run out.

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