If you've been to the grocery store recently, you might have noticed that there are shortages of items other than just toilet paper and cleaning products.

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The last time I was at the grocery store, not only did I notice that the meat supply was sparse, but that there were signs stating that quantities were limited to one per item. My thoughts flew to wondering if people were hoarding meat, but that is not the reason.

John Tyson, the chairman of Tyson Foods warns that we should expect millions of pounds of meat to disappear from our national food supply chain as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic and the closure of food processing plants.

Tyson took out a full-page ad within the Sunday, April 28 edition of The New York Times and in it he wrote, "The food supply chain is breaking. There will be limited supply of our products available in grocery stores until we are able to reopen our facilities that are currently closed." Tyson continued, "In addition to meat shortages, this is a serious food waste issue. Farmers across the nation simply will not have anywhere to sell their livestock to be processed, when they could have fed the nation." See Tyson's full-page ad here.

On Tuesday, April 28, President Trump signed an executive order to reopen meat processing plants, declaring that the nation's meat supply is critical. However, unions fear the executive order will put employees in danger as the processing plants have become a hot spot for Coronavirus outbreaks.

Richard Trumka, the president of the A.F.L.-C.I.O., wrote on Twitter, “Using executive power to force people back on the job without proper protections is wrong and dangerous."  President Trump said that his administration would, “take all appropriate action” to be sure that meat and poultry processors “continue operations” consistent in ways that follow federal health and workplace safety guidelines.

In a Facebook post, Sach’s Tee House Bar and Grill in Binghamton explained that they've already begun to feel the effects of the meat shortage and asked patrons to be patient and understanding saying, "Don't be surprised if/when you call that we may be out of products from time to time. We can't produce it out of thin air. With the struggle to stock many items, it is inevitable that we may run out of things. We don't like not having items in stock. At this point, it's really out of our control."

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