While the pandemic has started to improve, a second crisis has hit the nation and our own community – a global supply chain disruption.
As Mama’s Kitchen’s Executive Chef, I want to share with you, our stakeholders, how this impacts Mama’s Kitchen, and how we are responding and preparing for this crisis, which is expected to substantially increase food and supply costs for months to come.
Each week, Mama’s Kitchen relies on deliveries of more than 1,000 lbs of produce, product, meal containers and more. And while you or I can easily shift to a different product when our favorite item is out of stock at the grocery store, it’s very different when you are planning meals and grocery shopping for more than 650 people with specific medical needs. Simply put, running out of healthy ingredients is not an option for Mama’s Kitchen when hundreds of people rely on us daily.
Backstory: As the economy reopened, there has been a surge in demand across industries that has strained manufacturing capacity, all while global shipping and logistics companies struggle to recover from prior disruptions, backlog, and now the additional challenge of massive labor shortages. Multiple industries — including those involved in delivering food and supplies to Mama’s Kitchen, schools, restaurants, and grocery stores — have faced increased demand they can’t meet. State and federal leaders are warning, it may get worse before it gets better.
This surge in demand and short supply has raised costs across the board, and we anticipate continued rising costs for many months to come.
How this impacts Mama’s Kitchen: As of August, Mama’s Kitchen has experienced 30 – 40% price increases on the cost of items such as fresh vegetables, meat, packaged goods, containers, and supplies. Some of the products we regularly purchase are no longer available and many delivery timelines are delayed. Currently, our bulk deliveries are taking eight to ten weeks or more to arrive.
This means in addition to increased costs, our team is regularly having to modify or change our menu planning and meal prepping. To ensure we have no disruption in service, we have converted our conference room and our downstairs office space into emergency storage to house pallets of product and support larger bulk orders. I want to acknowledge that our primary food vendors, Shamrock Foods and All Fresh, are supporters of our mission and are committed to work with us to minimize the impact of this crisis to the best they are able.
Throughout the past 20 months, Mama’s Kitchen has made sure to stay ahead of every challenge to ensure our clients receive every meal needed. We are currently working to ensure this challenge is no different. On behalf of our clients and our entire team at Mama’s Kitchen, we are grateful for your support and dedication.
With my deepest gratitude,
Executive Chef Jason Martin