Reports are flooding in that America’s food supply chain is beginning to break due to the continued forced coronavirus shutdown. As meat processing plants and retailers remain closed further up the chain, farmers and ranchers have nowhere to take their market-ready product. Pig and poultry farmers along with cattle ranchers across the nation have been faced with the heart-wrenching decision of what to do with the additional animals coming into the system with nowhere to put them.
One pig farmer in Nebraska said they are actually euthanizing 500 to 600 head of pigs a week. Poultry farmers and cattle ranchers are facing a similar dilemma. The end result of this breakdown, due to the coronavirus mandated shutdown, could be meat shortages in our grocery stores.
But it doesn’t stop there. Vegetable farmers and dairy farmers are facing a similar predicament as crops ripen for harvest and filled milk containers sit while farmers have nowhere to take their product. That which would have gone to feed families and be shipped to schools, restaurants, hotels and so on has all come to a grinding halt.
Billions of dollars’ worth of food is going to waste as the distribution line for growers and producers and their ability to sell to retail outlets has been broken. Food producers have now been left with a massive surplus of highly perishable items. Farmers have been forced to plow under harvest ready crops and pour out tens of thousands of gallons of fresh milk and destroy growing supplies of eggs. Food that is desperately needed is now being wasted.
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With increasing unemployment, the need for this food at food banks across the nation is increasing. Many food banks are reporting double the number of families coming for food compared to last year. At the same time, grocery stores have been unable to keep their shelves stocked during the crisis for lack of supplies. The demand is there and the food is there, but the connection from farm to retail has been interrupted as the battle for whether to reopen each state continues under debate.
The USDA has offered a “solution” to step in as an intermediary to purchase surplus food from the farmers in order to send to food banks to feed families in need. However, the suggested $300 million per month suggested comes nowhere close to the projected $1 billion in lost revenue and product for the farmers and ranchers.
But the bigger question we should be asking regarding the USDA solution is, if it is safe for them to distribute food and reconnect the food chain in a small way, why can’t the actual food chain, which was working well, not be reconnected so that growers and producers can begin to move their mounting food supplies again? It simply doesn’t add up. As President Trump warned, the cure has become worse than the problem.
The fact is, America must reopen or face an even greater crisis than the coronavirus, with devastating food shortages in the coming months. And this isn’t affecting America only. David Beasley, executive director of the World Food Program, addressed the U.N. recently, stating that “we could be facing multiple famines of biblical proportions within a few short months.”
The bottom line is the food chain must be restored. We do not want the government stepping in to control the distribution of food. Government’s solutions or reasoning to keep the chain shut down while they would be able to do the very thing they refuse to let the farmers and ranchers do makes no sense. It gets down to one simple thing: Control.
Here are some important areas we must address in prayer:
- For our farmers and ranchers who are working hard to feed America. They are taking huge losses rather than receiving the profit for their hard work. Lord, restore their finances and their hope.
- That predicted food shortages would be circumvented and the food chain restored.
- Wisdom on how to reopen the meat processing plants and retail establishments that order food products so growers and producers have somewhere to take their market-ready product once again.
- That the coronavirus would be halted! That it would not resurge, and the underlying hidden agenda behind this pandemic would be revealed and dismantled.
Lord, we come to You and ask for divine intervention in this time of desperate need. Lord, we cry out to You for help to do what we cannot, and we humble ourselves before You. Lord, we ask that this virus would come to a halt. We declare Your word of healing to those infected, that You will raise them up off their sick bed and restore them to health (Ps. 41:3). We declare that this affliction will not arise a second time (Nah. 1:9). We ask that You would restore that which has broken down. We pray for the growers and food producers in America and around the world. Lord, encourage their hearts today. We ask not only for provision and restoration of that which has been lost, but we ask that You would provide creative ideas on how to restore and reconnect to an even greater degree than what they had before. We declare a restoration of the food chain, jobs and of our economy. We pray for wisdom over the president, governors and mayors, that they will make decisions that are in the best interest of our nation and its citizens, and that any ungodly agenda present would be revealed and stopped in its tracks. In Jesus’ mighty name, Amen!
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