Meat Shortages are Happening Across The US

Published on May 13, 2020

Since the beginning of the pandemic, many things have been put on hold, shut down, canceled, and rescheduled. With the shutting down and closures of activities and places, there have also been concerns with shortage among standard necessities, and this has made some items difficult to get.

Cleaning supplies and toilet paper have been a popular necessity that everyone is trying to get their hands on, but that’s not the only thing that’s having shortages. Now the country is facing meat shortages. Grocery stores are limiting the amount of meat that they sell to a customer.

Meat shortages have become a broad concern from everyone around the world. Due to Covid-19, many meat factories and farms have shut down, putting a hold on or limiting the meat demands. Well known meat factory and brand Tyson had to close their doors due to some workers falling ill to Covid-19, with more closures expected throughout the year.

The company also revealed that it would continue to produce fewer amounts of meat to refrain from overworking their employees during the pandemic. With these changes in place meat companies around the country are planning on sending out less product. Many meat processing and packaging plants have been closed, with many workers falling ill and others scared to go into work.

Publix employee and mother Jacqueline Ford, says it’s not something you see every day even having been a cashier for the last 11 years. “It’s hard because when I get off work, I can’t get my basic needs or even meat to make dinner because there is nothing left even when they do give employees time to shop. It’s like I leave feeling defeated.”

Meat markets are also taking a hit to this shortage, causing some to close their doors temporally. Johnnies Fresh Meat Market in Charleston, South Carolina announced on their Facebook page that they are closing their doors but only temporarily May 15 through May 20 due to the meat shortage.

Wendy’s also announced that it’s been affected by the meat shortages. The company announced that it will stop selling burgers because of this meat shortage temporarily. Many speculate the cause of this decrease is because of the working conditions that the workers are in. Some say these work conditions are overcrowded with workers to the point where they can’t properly maintain a safe distance from one another.

In the US, there have been almost 5,000 cases and at least 20 deaths of meat plant workers as of the end of April. Now the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting says there have been more than 10,00 cases linked to meat plants.

No one knows how long this shortage will last. Some say that this could last through the summer, while some believe it’s just another panic buying phase. The problem, though, is the working conditions workers are enduring.

Jori Ayers is a Staff Writer at Grit Daily based in Tampa, Florida. She was formerly with the editorial team at Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine.

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