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Bare shelves becoming common sight at grocery stores

White House announces plan to alleviate supply chain issues

The White House has announced a new multi-billion-dollar action plan to alleviate supply chain issues, which have caused shelves to go bare at grocery stores and prices to increase as inflation reaches a new high.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – First, it was toilet paper and cleaning supplies. Now, just about everything from baked goods to Gatorade is hard to find on store shelves.

News4Jax on Tuesday walked around stores, including the Publix on Roosevelt Boulevard, in the middle of the day — before the rush of the evening crowd came in. You could tell there were certain sections of the store that are struggling to stay filled. There were bare shelves from the refrigerated section to the snack aisle.

If you’ve been to a grocery store in the last few weeks, this has likely been a common sight for you, as well.

“It varies from week to week, but there are shortages all over the stores sometimes,” said shopper Justin Carney.

At Publix, there were green labels, apologizing for being out of a product, as far as the eye could see.

While most shoppers are able to navigate around the shortages, they’re still creating a headache, especially ahead of the holidays.

“I pick up what I need, and if I don’t find it, I get it tomorrow,” said shopper Gigi Surles.

The Consumer Brand Association reports the top out of stock categories include refrigerated baked goods, sports and energy drinks, and refrigerated meals. Walking around the store Tuesday, News4Jax can confirm shelves in those categories are scarce.

The supply chain issues continue to be one of the main reasons for these shortages. The supply chain issues have also caused prices to increase as inflation reaches a new high.

White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre acknowledged the supply chain issues during a briefing on Tuesday when the White House announced a new multibillion-dollar action plan to alleviate the issues.

“While we’re moving record amounts of goods through our ports into shelves, we understand the frustration that Americans feel when backlogs lead to higher prices or delayed goods. So today’s announcement builds on the steps we’ve already taken to help address the supply chain challenges we’ve seen globally because of that pandemic,” Jean-Pierre said.

Most of the White House’s plan involves $17 billion in port funding included in the bipartisan infrastructure legislation that Congress approved last week. But the administration plans, within the next 45 days, to award $243 million in new port and marine infrastructure grants. We expect to hear more about this plan Wednesday from President Joe Biden as he visits a port in Baltimore.

RELATED: White House rushes with infrastructure fixes for US economy

CBA reports that for every truck available, there are 16 shipments waiting to be transported. And as many as 87 container ships are stuck at the port of Los Angeles. For perspective, there is normally no more than one ship waiting at a time. In addition, the cost associated with getting these goods to the store continues to rise. In September, consumer prices sent inflation up 5.4% from where it was a year ago, matching the largest increase since 2008.

Ahead of the holiday season, experts are making some recommendations, saying there is no need to rush to the stores and panic buy like we saw at the start of the coronavirus pandemic. But if you see a deal in the weeks leading up to the holidays, go ahead and grab it then, shopping little by little early so you’re not waiting to buy everything last minute.

About the Author:

Lauren Verno anchors the 9 a.m. hour of The Morning Show and is the consumer investigative reporter weekday afternoons.