Texas Is Running Out Of Food Amid Extreme Winter Weather
Texas is in danger of running out of food as ongoing extreme winter conditions disrupt supply chains across the state.
With roads cut off and farms blanketed in snow and ice, grocery stores have struggled to get new stock in over the past few days.
Add to that the fact that residents had been encouraged to stockpile goods ahead of the storm’s arrival in case they got snowed in, and supermarket shelves are reportedly beginning to look worryingly empty, with no indication as to when new stock might be able to get through.
Speaking to the Texas Tribune, Austin resident Cristal Porter said she found her local Target store almost completely out of fresh produce when she tried to stock up on Monday, February 15. ‘It was out of meat, eggs and almost all milk before I left… lines were wrapped around the store when we arrived,’ she said. ‘Shelves were almost fully cleared for potatoes, meat, eggs and some dairy.’
To make matters worse, rolling blackouts caused by power grid failures have meant refrigerators and freezers not linked to backup generators have stopped working, leaving meat and other chilled or frozen produce in homes and shops to spoil, further depleting stocks. The Tribune reports that as a result of the power cuts, a number of smaller local grocery stores have been forced to close during the storm, leaving some Texans with no option but to travel long distances to find food.
Officials have also warned that the shortages could have a serious impact on vulnerable residents in Texas, with food banks and other charities struggling to feed people that rely on them to avoid going hungry. Texas’s Central Food Bank told Fox 7 Austin they had cancelled distribution ‘for the safety of our clients, staff and volunteers,’ saying, ‘The Food Bank’s fleet, equipment, facilities and operations have been adversely impacted by the extremely low temperatures, and hazardous road conditions are hindering our staff and volunteers from getting to our building safely.’
The winter storm could also have lasting consequences for farmers and growers in the region. According to The Produce News, which reports on US agriculture, fruit and vegetable growers in the Rio Grande valley have experienced a ‘Valentine’s Day massacre,’ with entire harvests ruined by the cold temperatures, while the Texas Department of Agriculture claimed that the state’s dairy farmers were pouring an estimated $8 million of milk down the drain each day because of the disrupted supply chains.
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