I was shopping at Yoke's in Kennewick yesterday and noticed that the shelves are starting to look a little bare.

2020 was the year the shelves were depleted to their lowest levels because of the pandemic and COVID-19 rush on the stores.

Why Are Washington Grocery Store Shelves Bare?

We haven't got back to those levels yet but shelves are noticeably becoming bare over the last few weeks and it looks like it might take some time before shelves are full again in the Tri-Cities.

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I was reading an article from Newsweek last night that explained why we are seeing the store shelves go bare over the last few weeks.

Closed Washington State Passes Has Had An Effect On Grocery Stores

It all has to do with the closure of all 4-passes over last week. There was no way for trucks to get to Eastern Washington from Western Washington and the trucks had to be re-routed through Portland and the Columbia Gorge just to get loads into the Tri-Cities.

All 4 Passes, Snoqualmie, Stevens, White, and Blewett passes were closed for record level snow that prevented the most direct route from the westside to getting to eastern Washington.

It might surprise you that the westside of the state is the hub for outgoing food and supplies for the rest of the state.

What Food Items Are In Short Supply In Washington State?

The main things that are missing from the shelves are mainly the healthiest and freshest of foods. It all has to do with freshness so items that have a shorter shelf life are going to be harder to find until trucks can re-supply the stores.

I noticed it at Yoke's over the week and hopefully, we've seen the worst of the empty shelves. I don't think we've seen these kinds of shortages since the pandemic.

It really shows how dependent we are on supply chains and our transportation provided by trucking companies.

You can read more about the grocery store shortages here.  

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