The next coronavirus pandemic shortage crisis? 

Toilet paper? Masks? 

No. 

Canning supplies— for grassroots gardeners. 

The supply chain for familiar home canning merchandise lines, like Kerr and Ball, are reportedly thin in some markets. 

Hopefully not in the Pelican lakes area.

So far.

Mark Dokken, Larry’s Super Market, Pelican Rapids, had the foresight in spring, anticipating that home canning of produce would be on the rise, with coronavirus keeping folks close to home—and their gardens. He planned ahead and bolstered inventory. But who knows what kind of demand will be brewing by August. 

Strand Ace Hardware is also in good shape—for the near term, said Matt Strand. However, the Ace warehouses are starting to feel the pinch, he noted. One pint Ball canning jars are back-ordered to August. 

“We’re adequately stocked now, but replenishment may be a challenge,” said Strand. 

For Jess Shulstad, a canning shortage would be more than just an interruption of a hobby. Husband Joe and Jess are produce growers on the side, and they can more than 1,300 jars a season. Pickled asparagus and Brussels sprouts are among the Shulstad’s specialties, as well as salsa, pickles, and Bloody Mary mix. 

Fortunately, many of the Shulstad’s loyal customers return jars from season to season. But still, Jess collaborated with Mark from Larry’s Super Market to order additional canning supplies.

COVID-19 has produced odd and sometimes unexplainable shortages, noted Matt Strand. 

As far as masks, and hand sanitizer, Strand Hardware has ample supply, noted Matt. But the spray sanitizer products are “still spotty.” Even toilet paper remains somewhat hit and miss, he added. 

Meanwhile, there has been a shortage of sandpaper in the supply chain—as well as air conditioners, but that has more to do with weather, said Strand. 

Freezers have also been short at the Ace warehouses. “I think that may be a result of people stocking up on meat,” said Strand. 

Jason Stetz at Pelican’s Heart O’ Lakes Meats would agree on the demand for meat. His bulk processing operation, especially beef and pork, has skyrocketed, and Heart O’ Lakes is in an almost constant need of employees to handle the rush. 

—Louis Hoglund, Press managing editor