Videos Show Empty Shelves Across U.S. Stores As Food Shortage Fears Rise

Photos and videos on social media show empty shelves across the United States amid growing evidence of food shortages.

"My grocery. There's plenty of food it's not as if we will starve. But I've never seen empty shelves like this in my lifetime," investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson tweeted, alongside a picture of rows and rows of cleared-out shelves.

1-My grocery. There’s plenty of food it’s not as if we will starve. But I’ve never seen empty shelves like this in my lifetime.

— Sharyl Attkisson🕵️‍♂️ (@SharylAttkisson) October 14, 2021

A video on TikTok shows footage of a Dollar Tree discount store with empty shelves against the backdrop of eerie music from the hit TV series Squid Game.

"This is what my dollar tree looked like the other day. The shelves were almost bare." the video said.

Other videos showed more empty shelves and fridges at the local stores.

The global supply chain has been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the effects of the disruption are being felt in countries across the world, from the U.S. to Europe to Asia. The demand for goods has spiked as inflation rises and the economy recovers from the 2020 lows. Due to a shortage of warehouse workers, containers and truck drivers, the supply chain has not been able to keep up with the demand.

On Wednesday, the White House announced a series of measures intended to ease the crisis that is threatening to disrupt the U.S. holiday season. President Biden said that the country's two busiest ports — Los Angeles and Long Beach — would expand around-the-clock operations to unload an estimated 500,000 containers waiting on cargo ships offshore, working 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Traditionally. U.S. ports have only been open on weekdays and are generally closed at nights and weekends.

Walmart, Target and other big retailers would also expand their overnight operations at the ports to try to meet delivery needs, the president said. He spoke after meeting with executives from the two ports as well as from the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, the Teamsters, the AFL-CIO, Walmart, FedEx, UPS, Target, and others.

The president has promised an overhaul of the snarled supply chain system, which White House officials have warned could cause higher prices and empty shelves this Christmas.

Some food producers have warned about shortages. For example, Butterball, which is one of the leading turkey producers in the U.S., has warned of a shortage of turkeys ahead of Thanksgiving in late November.

White House spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters on Wednesday that Biden could not guarantee there would be no holiday disruptions.

Asked about the possibility of mobilizing the National Guard or other troops, she said: "What we can do is use every lever at the federal government level to reduce delays."

Empty shelves in store
A stock photo of empty shelves in a store. Photos and videos on social media show empty shelves and gutted shops across the United States, speaking to fears of food shortages. Smith Collection/Gado/Getty