BALTIMORE (WJZ) – Maryland’s grocery stores are struggling to keep products on their shelves as well as workers in the midst of the rise of Omicron and ongoing supply chain problems.
The winter slumber has also played a role in the stripped-down selection of food and other products that are usually in abundance at local grocery stores.
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The variant is the cause of a shortage of the food supply chain in the Baltimore area, according to Ravi Srinivasan, an associate professor at Loyola University Maryland.
The industry is work-related, which means that the people who pack the food, deliver it to stores and stock the shelves are affected. The variant has caused more people to report sick, which has left some shops tumbling, Srinivasan explained.
Many WJZ viewers have seen bare shelves across the area, mostly in retail chains.
“No fresh vegetables were available. In the freezer, they get lower and lower in pretty much everything. There is no minced meat, no small steaks, nothing. There was no one in the beef department that I could afford,” said Carney resident Aurelia Dillon .
Experts confirm that when demand remains the same but supply falls, prices will be forced upwards.
“There are several challenges that all retailers are facing at the moment that have affected our ability to conduct our business to our normal standards,” said Giant spokeswoman Felismina Andrade. “Most importantly, the prolonged pandemic and last week’s weather have caused continued pressure on our supply chain, but our Giant teams are working with our production partners to rebuild the shelves as quickly as possible.”
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Some locally owned groceries, including Di Pasquale’s in Baltimore City, have also faced challenges throughout this time.
“Lots of disruption, lots of adjustments and alternative ways we have to find,” said owner Joseph Di Pasquale.
According to Di Pasquale, small businesses have more flexibility to fill supplier voids than grocery chains.
“The big-box chains are in a way locked in. They are committed to certain brands and certain manufacturers, while we are not locked in.”
Maryland grocery stores are struggling to keep products on their shelves as well as workers in the midst of the rise of Omicron and ongoing supply chain problems.
Grocery stores are expected to return to a sense of normalcy in the next three to four weeks, when workers are able to return to their shifts after the Omicron rise, according to Srinivasan.
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