The food supply chain and its frontline workers

Listen 49:14
Workers process chickens at the Lincoln Premium Poultry plant, Costco Wholesale's dedicated poultry supplier, in Fremont, Neb., Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

Workers process chickens at the Lincoln Premium Poultry plant, Costco Wholesale's dedicated poultry supplier, in Fremont, Neb., Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

Guests: Michael Corkery, Desi Burnette, Meghan Hurley

The pandemic has been a shock to our food system. Worry of disruptions in the supply chain has caused consumers to stockpile butter, flour, pasta. At the same time, farmers have been dumping eggs and milk and euthanizing animals because of restaurant, school and large institution closures. We’ve also watched food insecurity grow and food pantries be overwhelmed with demand. COVID-19 outbreaks have closed meat processing plants and fears of shortages led President Trump to declare these facilities essential, forcing them to stay open even if it endangers workers. This hour, we’ll talk about what the pandemic has revealed about the strengths and weaknesses in our food supply chain and the way we eat. We start off talking with New York Times reporter MICHAEL CORKERY about how the COVID-19 has been impacting the meat industry, its workers and consumer choices. Then we’ll look at why agricultural laborers are at increased risk of catching the coronavirus. We’ll talk with DESI BURNETTE from Movement of Immigrant Leaders of Pennsylvania and MEGHAN HURLEY from CATA – The Farmworker Support Committee who are trying to ensure farm and meatpacking workers are protected during the pandemic.

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