Photos of empty produce sections and otherwise bare supermarket shelves have been all over the local news and social media. That’s not uncommon in the days before – and in the immediate aftermath of – a snowstorm. And we just had two in a week.
A Popville reader used the panorama feature on her phone to capture the cleaned-out refrigerated produce area at the Van Ness Giant on Monday.
It’s not necessarily panic buying that sends us to the store for milk, bread and toilet paper when snowflakes are in the forecast. Longtime DC residents know that it doesn’t take much snow or ice to delay shipments to our stores.
Indeed, DCist on Monday reported that bad road conditions are a key part of the barren state of some supermarket aisles. The report also goes into detail about the less visible issue: Covid-19. Illness and quarantine are sidelining the workers needed to pack the goods, load them into trucks, drive the trucks, unload them, and stock the shelves at the other end.