Food Shortages and Local Impact
According to Long Island-based non-profit Community Solidarity, an organization dedicated to fighting off “social, economic, and environmental oppressions,” their food banks will potentially have to feed over 180,000 people this Thanksgiving, with over 70,000 of them being children.
Climate change and Covid-19 are the main reasons why a food shortage will persist through the Thanksgiving holiday. Since the COVID-19 quarantine began in 2020, ships have slowly been building up at ports around the U.S. The main reason for this is the significant increase in demand for consumer goods manufactured in foreign countries faster than the supply at which these goods can be made and shipped. Also, Covid-19 led to mass unemployment in the country, which caused many delivery and truck drivers to be left unemployed, which meant fewer truck drivers were delivering products from docked ships.
Fast forward to now, the unemployment of truck drivers has now started a significant build-up that is not only for manufactured goods, but food, drinks, and even aluminum which causes a shortage in canned food. This blockage of ships may last for up to six months. Combined with a lack of domestic production, this is causing a shortage of essential consumer goods, including food and food packaging.
All of this will heavily impact our Thanksgiving, as there will be a variety of food items that may not make it onto your Thanksgiving table and an increase in food prices that some families may not be able to afford. Since most stores are dealing with shortages of typical Thanksgiving food, they will be forced to raise prices on average from 6%, all the way to 16%. An increase by this much, in most stores, will make it even harder for families to afford enough food for everyone, and for the poor, Thanksgiving this year may not be an available option.
With a decrease in the overall amount of food and the increase in the price of most food, food shares like Community
This problem will only be solved when the build-up of ships at our ports is significantly decreased. This won’t happen in another 5-6 months, so two solutions you can put into effect today are only buying what you need this Thanksgiving and having Thanksgiving with fewer people. If most families were only to buy what they need, it would slow down the inflation of the price of turkey, making it a bit more available. To make this possible, it is suggested to celebrate Thanksgiving with your immediate family. This option is not only safer, leaving less risk of getting Covid-19, but will also reduce the cost and amount needed for your Thanksgiving.
The food shortages and the increase in demand for food banks will cause these organizations to feed more families than usual this Thanksgiving. If you want to combat this, you should get your thanksgiving food early and encourage family members and friends who are not currently working to make their way back into the labor force.