Unprecedented Food Shortages: A Sign of the End?

By Kris W. Sky | Posted January 17, 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic has touched nearly every facet of life. Now, Americans are feeling the domino effect of labor shortages, supply chain bottlenecks, and inflation in a most crucial area—food. Additionally aggravating the issue are the newest coronavirus strain, omicron, and seasonal weather, such as ongoing storms.

The American public remembers all too well the empty shelves of the previous year, and they are not happy about it. As USA Today reported, advisory firm KPMG released findings that a majority of people, “71% of grocery consumers[,] said they were somewhat or very concerned about shortages or stockouts.”

The article also stated, “U.S. groceries typically have 5% to 10% of their items out of stock at any given time[, but] right now, that unavailability rate is hovering around 15%.” And of course, it doesn’t help that “Americans are eating at home more than they used to.”

Processed America

Out-of-stock items vary according to “region” as well as “consumer behavior” and “environmental factors.”

“It’s sort of like playing whack-a-mole. If you don’t see it today, you’ll probably see it tomorrow,” commented Doug Baker, Vice President of The Food Industry Association, a U.S. trade association. 

However, one factor remains clear across the board: It’s the processed foods that are getting harder and harder to find. Americans aren’t able to get their hands on baby formula, cream cheese, chicken tenders, cereal, and parent-favorite Lunchables. The meat industry has also taken a plunge as “more food inspectors are calling in sick.” And anything made with aluminum is in trouble—notably, cans for distributing pet food and drinks, especially beer.

“Some of the nation’s 10 largest retailers had more than 20% of baby formula out of stock,” noted data analytics company IRI for the first week of January. And according to one dairy company, “Every cream cheese provider has struggled to keep up with demand.” Junior’s, a restaurant chain originating in Brooklyn, New York, and beloved for its award-winning cheesecake, even “had to stop production twice at its New Jersey-based facility because it didn’t have enough cream cheese.”

Lamented one shopper to CBS News, “This is actually the third store I’ve been to tonight trying to find some pasta.”

Several outfits have resorted back to rationing their products. Costco did so this past August, and even “Australia’s second-largest supermarket,” Coles, made the decision to “[impose] temporary two-pack buying limits on sausages, chicken thighs and breasts, and mince” in early January.

As expected, the food shortage is not just affecting the individual. Local shelters, food pantries, and public schools have also taken a hit. South Dakota’s Cornerstone Rescue Mission, a non-profit dedicated to providing for the homeless, has “seen delays in the arrival of their orders” as well as a notable drop in food donations. Boston’s Lovin’ Spoonfuls, a food rescue organization “committed to mitigating the environmental impact that wasted food has on our planet while addressing food insecurity in our communities,” is struggling from a 20-percent loss in “food available to donate to local pantries.” Nutritional Support Services for the public school system in Chicago, Illinois, which usually distributes “around 240,000 meals per day” to students for free, has been battling with “half-empty delivery trucks” and “last-minute food substitutions.” A School Nutrition Association survey “found that more than 98 percent of school meal program directors say menu items have not been available in sufficient quantities.” Though Newsweek reported “a massive decline in the demand for” NSS-provided meals as of late, it did not comment on a possible link to the shortage.

God’s Plan

Take a look at what is failing in this pandemic. Markedly, it is man’s work, man’s product. It’s more the stuff made in the factories and not so much the stuff grown from the ground. This isn’t a coincidence. You might not be able to readily procure your favorite bacon or booze, but have you considered that may actually be for the better?

 God originally gave humanity a certain diet for a reason. Learn about these blessings in our free Study Guide “God’s Free Health Plan.” 

Now it’s the grocery stores that are empty. But the Bible warns that they will not be the last: “‘Behold, the days are coming,’ says the Lord GOD, ‘that I will send a famine on the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD” (Amos 8:11).

It is important not to take this verse out of context. God does not withhold His Word from any who truly desire to know it. But how many “have treasured the words of His mouth more than [their] necessary food” (Job 23:12)? How many have “desired … [them more] than gold, yea, than much fine gold” (Psalm 19:10)? The Bible is the least-read bestseller in the history of the world. The time will come when men will have so repeatedly neglected the Word of God that it will be too late for them to heed it. Their hearts will have been so bonded to the things of this life that they will have made the decision for the world instead of for Christ.

But God never leaves His people to starvation. There is always abundance to be found in His living Word. Though famine will ravage the land, the Word of God—starting now—can be stored in our hearts, that we may, like Jesus, assuredly declare, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4).

Kris W. Sky
Kris W. Sky is a writer and editor for Amazing Facts International and other online and print publications.

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