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UP grocery stores report they are not experiencing supply shortages

At the Marquette Food Co-op, shelves are packed full due to holiday demand.
Toilet paper and paper towels are fully in stock at the Marquette Food Co-op.
Toilet paper and paper towels are fully in stock at the Marquette Food Co-op.(WLUC)
Published: Nov. 20, 2020 at 5:41 PM EST
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MARQUETTE & IRON MOUNTAIN, Mich. (WLUC) - While toilet paper and hand sanitizer were in short supply this past spring, that doesn’t appear to be the fate of the current three-week shutdown.

At Tadych’s Family Market in Iron Mountain, customers are buying products in slightly larger quantities. However, manager John Gray says the store is not experiencing any shortages.

“I think people are being smart about trying to make sure they can cook more meals at home to stay inside,” said Gray. “But there are a lot of bigger carts and a lot of big orders.”

Although consumers are purchasing more, Marquette Food Co-op outreach director Sarah Monte says shelves are already full due to the upcoming holidays.

“In some ways, the timing’s pretty good because around Thanksgiving, grocery stores are stocking up on everything anyway,” Monte said. “We were already well prepared to have a lot of inventory for this.”

Monte says although things are going well right now, there’s no way to predict what might happen going forward.

“At any moment, a supply line could shut down because a factory has to shut down because of COVID,” Monte explained. “It’s literally impossible to know at this point what company might experience shortages at any time. We just try to think quickly on our feet and be prepared with alternatives for folks.”

Despite the uncertainty, Gray says stores are making efforts to prepare for any potential issues.

“I think our suppliers do a great job of communicating with us when there’s going to be shortages,” he said. “They do a great job too of also trying to accommodate so we keep our shelves filled.”

Gray says the staff is working to offer as many items as possible to ensure customers have food for the holiday, as well as the weeks ahead.

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