"There is plenty of food in the country"

The food supply chain, they say, remains intact and has been ramping up to meet the unprecedented stockpiling brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

Even so, shoppers can most likely expect to see empty shelves intermittently, as the nation’s network of food producers, distributors and retailers are stretched as never before. Industries that are calibrated to supply consumers with just enough of what they need on a given day cannot keep up with a nationwide surge of relentless shopping fueled in large part by fear.

Food suppliers and retailers are now not only struggling to satiate crushing demand for canned soup and oat milk, they are battling a perception that the scary scenes at the grocery store reflect a fundamental breakdown.