COVID restrictions are impacting U.S. food supply chains

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As the COVID pandemic drags on and more people stay home to cook instead of eating out at restaurants, the U.S. food supply chain is strained.

“So when you are talking about the supply chain issue, those supply chains are very, very complex,” said Commissioner of the Louisiana Department of Agriculture & Forestry, Mike Strain. There will be food available, but it may not be in that particular form that you would like, because the other thing that happens when people go in and see shelves getting a little thin, then they generally buy more than they need for those two weeks.  They stock up and that furthers the supply chain disruptions.”

Strain says the USDA confirms all the major U.S. food processors are back online and producing food products, but there will still be some supply chain disruptions.

“Remember prior to COVID, a majority of meals were not consumed at home,” Strain said. “They were consumed at restaurants and other eateries and then that suddenly shifted. Now we are trying to move back and forth between that. There are less people eating in restaurants even today.”

Srain continues, “We are not going to run out of food. If you think of it like on the interstate, when everything is moving at 70 miles per hour and kind of coasting along, everything is good. But then you let there be something happening...and everything starts backing up.  Moving forward, the same thing can happen in the food supply chain."