Companies work to keep shelves stocked

Coronavirus

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — About half of the blue box Kraft macaroni and cheese made in the United States is made in their Champaign plant. However, the plant manager said right now, they cannot make enough of it.

“I go into stores pretty frequently just to see how we look on the shelves, and when you look at it, in most cases the mac and cheese on the shelves are really gone,” said Kraft Heinz Plant Manager Dilton Gibbs. He said they are making 27 percent more mac than they usually do. “It’s been like that for the last four weeks,” he said. He has people working 24/7.

The plant even added additional shifts in the schedule. Even that is barely running in line with the sky high demand. “We’ve always done a really good job, but right now, with the situation and the economy and all, we have to produce. We have to put product on the shelves, and keep America going.” Gibbs said in order to do that, they have to keep up proper safety and social distances protocols, keep people informed and keep up morale.

“Three hours a day I’m putting into what’s going on around the plant, what’s going on with our people, and how we keep our practices up in the forefront on a daily basis now. It’s critical,” said Gibbs. He said he’s grateful that even in tough times and tireless work, morale is one less thing he has to worry about. “People are smiling because they know what they’re doing is very important to our country right now, because they know what they’re doing is more important than ever, ever before.”

Macaroni and cheese is just one product in high demand. Many of you are wondering when you will be seeing more paper products and cleaning supplies. WCIA reached out to Harvest Market. Their manager said many suppliers of those items are narrowing the amount they make. Stores may order large quantities of products and only get a fraction of them in the shipments. They said many supplies have not provided much information about when those products will be widely available again.

Walmart officials said, “We are continuously replenishing the supply of high demand items like hand sanitizer, wipes and other products. Demand continues to be high, however. As we would normally do during periods of sustained high demand, we are working through our best-in-class supply chain to continually replenish items as quickly as possible to help us meet the needs of our customers.”

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