Food-stockpiling tendencies are on the rise, with a pantry surge of up to 3,400%. Many Americans already started to stock food for the winter, fearing the occurrence of shortages just as seen earlier this year. However, food prices are fast increasing, and not everybody will have access to food products.
The U.S. is about to experience a hunger calamity, and over 54 million people could potentially face hunger by the end of the year. In this video, we investigate this very worrying matter and reflect upon the damaging effects it will pose to millions of households across the country.
Back in March, American consumers started to panic-buy shelf-stable meals and cleaning products, leaving store shelves empty, and unconsciously contributing to supply shortages. Now, grocery store owners have affirmed they have been preparing for a second surge in the stockpiling trend, but now that massive purchases already started, they seem unsure about having enough to attend the demand.
On the other hand, local production has been compromised by several natural disasters throughout the year and also big manufacturers’ orders for farmers to dump production and slaughter their animals due to contractual obligations. For its part, store supply in smaller cities or distant rural areas couldn’t afford to prepare in advance, considering many of them were never fully restocked since the first round of supply shortages.
Even though some companies are insisting that they are better prepared than before, shortages persist in many places. The real struggle for food companies is not only to rebuild the inventories that were depleted at the beginning of the year but keep it properly restocked throughout the coming winter, and most importantly, to still have sufficient available items after the holiday season is over.
Many companies revealed they don’t expect its inventories to get back to normal levels until next year, considering consumers are still hoarding as much food as they can, which adds extra pressure on companies across the industry.
However, when demand is high and the offer is low, prices tend to soar. In other words, in the face of mass unemployment and the absence of further stimulus packages, those who still have a source of income will have it at their stockpiles, but those who don’t are likely to cope with food insecurity.
Furthermore, a survey by Feeding America found that over 54 million Americans are likely to face hunger by December, which puts the country in the worst hunger calamity in history. Worldwide, an additional 100 million people or more could also be facing starvation this year. Analysts point that we’re in the midst of a health crisis; we’re in the midst of an economic crisis; we’re in the midst of a social justice crisis, particularly here in the United States, and I think we’re in the midst of a leadership crisis, as well.
By the end of August, the federal aid wore off and families had to deal with empty cupboards again as viral cases increased in the Midwest. Rising crop and livestock prices echoed into grocery stores. The cost of bread climbed almost 20% in June, while meat jumped 17%.
While government officials are still battling over the issuance of additional stimulus, more households are falling into poverty. In short, despite some food manufacturers and grocery chains have been bolstering efforts to support the demand and avoid supply shortages, increasing prices and the deteriorating conditions of the labor market will continue to boost food insecurity to unprecedented levels.