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Mid-Southerners feel impacts of supply chain shortages

Published: Jan. 12, 2022 at 10:27 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Inflation surged to a 40-year high in December, according to the U.S. Labor Department.

So many things are more expensive if you can even find them.

Supply chain issues, complicated by the fast-spreading omicron variant, are leaving store shelves across the Mid-South empty.

Mary Hanson is a grandmother on a mission. The only baby formula her 9-month-old grandson, Isaac, can tolerate is sold out at stores.

“He’s been on liquid baby formula his whole life and they make the powder, but it doesn’t set well on his stomach,” Hanson said. “The last two months, I’ve been having so much trouble finding it in the store, so I ordered some online, but they limit what you can order.”

Baby formula isn’t the only thing hard to find these days. Cash Saver Owner Rick James says more and more shelves are getting bare. Grain items like Saltines, canned soups, frozen potato products, like hash browns and pet food are among difficult-to-locate items.

James says worker absenteeism because of COVID-19 is just one of several factors impacting his manufacturers and suppliers.

“They’ve got problems with packaging and they have problems with employment,” said James. “They have problems with transportation. So, they’re hit on just about every level.”

Record inflation, the highest jump in 40 years, is making what is available more expensive for shoppers.

“There’s no question we’re seeing more price increases than we normally do,” James said.

At this point, with a beautiful baby boy depending on her to find his formula, Hanson worries about when the supply chain problems will end.

“Now, we’ve got the other grandmother ordering it, and my daughter ordering it, and the whole family’s looking for baby formula,” said Hanson. “It makes you feel afraid we’re not going to make it until he’s old enough to be off the formula.”

James says he’s been told the shortages will last at least through the end of summer.

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