Supply Expert Calms Worry Over Shortages – March 18, 2020

Empty shelves will soon be ‘a thing of the past,’ says grocery supply expert

As the novel coronavirus spreads, many people have stocked up on pantry items and paper products in anticipation of hunkering down at home for an extended period, creating temporary shortages of certain products. To better understand the grocery supply chain and how stores are stocked, FERN turned to Dr. Ananth Iyer, a professor of supply chain management at Purdue University and director of the university’s Global Supply Chain Management Initiative.


As schools close, USDA vows to deliver boxes of food to some students in rural America

The Department of Agriculture announced Tuesday that it will be delivering boxes of food to children affected by school closures due to the novel coronavirus in rural America. In partnership with the Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty, McLane Global, and PepsiCo, the USDA says it will eventually deliver 1 million meals per week.


U.S. embassy and consulates in Mexico to shut down, threatening labor supply for American farms

American farmers are bracing for major delays in the arrival of workers through the H-2A visa program after U.S. officials announced late Monday that the embassy in Mexico City and all U.S. consulates in Mexico will close, effective March 18, due to health and safety concerns caused by the Covid-19 global pandemic. Officials at the embassy did not say when the facilities might reopen. The H-2A program brings some 200,000 foreign workers to U.S. farms each year.


Emissions drop as coronavirus spreads (New York Times): A satellite that tracks human activity “shows striking reductions in pollution across China and Italy since the outbreak first started.”


Food delivery stocks soar (Barron’s): Shares of Grubhub, Blue Apron, and other companies that “have the ability to deliver food to … millions of people” spiked as restaurants shut down and people are confined to their homes.


Earth Day 50 goes digital (Earth Day Network): In light of the global pandemic, the 50th anniversary celebration of Earth Day, on April 22, will take place online.


For low-income seniors, virus is food-security issue (Brookings): Millions of low-income seniors are unable to stock up on food, and social distancing keeps them away from senior centers and other food-distribution locations.

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