Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Food plant closures from COVID-19 could empty some grocery shelves


April 27, 2020

Danger tape is stretched across the parking lot entrances to the Smithfield Foods pork processing plant in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, April 17. Smithfield temporarily closed the plant on April 15 after an coronavirus outbreak among its 3,700-strong workforce. (Jeremy Fugleberg/Forum News Service)

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - Farmers have plenty of produce and animals to sell. People still need to eat. But coronavirus outbreaks are shutting down processing plants across the region that sit squarely between the two groups, squeezing tight a bottleneck that could put parts of the nation's food supply at risk.

The coronavirus has struck the Upper Midwest food processing industry particularly hard. The virus has infected workers at at least 15 food processing facilities across Minnesota, North and South Dakota, Iowa and Wisconsin and closed 11 plants, according to a Forum News Service analysis. Seven of those remained closed as of Friday, April 24.


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