Us Texans have had a rough past few days. For millions of residents across the state, just getting power to keep their homes warm is at the top of the priority list. We've seen all the stories about power restoration efforts, and how many people think the state has failed us. I understand that.

For others, water - just having the ability to shower - is at the top of their priority list after water supply in cities across East Texas have been impacted.

But now we have another big problem on our hands. After the power is restored, and water supply is distributed across our communities, we need to figure out food. Unfortunately, our grocers may showcase bare shelves for a while as the bitter winter weather has disrupted our supply chain.

Farmers and ranchers across the state are having to toss crops as farmland has succumbed to the freezing temperatures.

“We had temperatures of 24, 25 degrees at our farms," Bret Erickson, senior vice president of business affairs for J&D Produce Inc. told The Produce News. "This was a whopper, with more to come.” When asked if any vegetables survive that cold for extended periods, he said, "I doubt it. We are prepared for the worst but hoping for the best. The celery and greens are all going to be ‘toast’.”

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller has gone as far as to call the issue a statewide emergency and has issued a red alert.

"Store shelves are already empty," Miller told KHOU. "We’re looking at a food supply chain problem like we’ve never seen before, even with COVID-19.”

Miller asked Governor Greg Abbott to designate agriculture producers and processors as "critical infrastructure" that must be provided gas and electricity to continue operations.

Miller said he believes that our agricultural teams should be prioritized like hospitals and first responders.

As for East Texas grocery provider Brookshire's, the company has modified all of its East Texas store locations to be open only until 5 p.m.

Due to ongoing inclement weather conditions, many of our locations will have irregular operating hours. Modified hours...

Posted by Brookshire's on Thursday, February 18, 2021

 

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