KayLynn Roberts-McMurray
Shelves that are normally filled with eggs and other dairy products at Ridley’s Family Market are bare due to a shortage caused by avian flu and supply chain issues.

Shoppers in Ely are feeling the effects of supply chain issues, specifically eggs.

This past Sunday. shelves at Ridley’s Family Market were bare in the refrigerated section where eggs would normally be. The only eggs on the shelf were a six-pack of pasture-raised eggs at a price of $4.39.

Several signs from the store manager Travis Hodson stated, “Limit 2 packages of eggs per customer, we apologize for the shortage and appreciate your business.”

A massive avian flu outbreak has spread through the U.S. poultry population since January. Nearly 27 million chickens and turkeys have been affected by the influenza, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The illness leads to respiratory issues, swelling and rapid death in poultry.

Less chickens means higher priced eggs and wholesale poultry, hurting Americans’ wallets. Inflation rates are currently the highest they’ve been in four decades. Gas rose 48 percent and food prices rose 8.8 percent. A dozen of Food Club Eggs at Ridley’s is currently $3.09, nearly three times higher than last year.

Prices have increased by 44 percent, according to the USDA, and are predicted to continue to rise between 9 percent and 12 percent during the course of the year because of the flu, and also because of higher fuel prices and other supply chain issues.

Empty store shelves aren’t anything new, since the pandemic hit. The scene hearkens back to the start of the pandemic when empty toilet paper shelves were everywhere, but with a broader picture of bare shelves across the store today.

Today, the store faces shortages of eggs, milk, and the most recent, baby formula.

Nationwide 40 percent of the most popular baby formula brands were out of stock in the week starting April 24, up from 31 percent two weeks earlier, according to the latest data from Datasembly.

The shortage caused by a mix of recalls, and supply chain issues has led to product restrictions, and more empty shelves–and panic among the parents searching for formula to feed their babies.

“We received eggs today, but the warehouse is struggling with supply as well, allocating all stores just a few cases regardless of how busy the store is or what size community we have to supply,” Hodson said. “Meadow Gold is having a supply chain issue with the half gallon containers.”

He apologized for the inconvenience, noting he is hopeful that things will get better soon.