Woman talking(l+r), Woman showing off lettuce(c)

@elizamyers2/Tiktok

‘This is my nightmare’: Grocery shopper can’t believe what the store looks like 2 days after it restocked

'I’m suddenly learning how to make everything from scratch.'

 

Beau Paul

Trending

Posted on May 16, 2024   Updated on May 15, 2024, 5:03 pm CDT

We’ve come a long way from the height of the COVID-19 pandemic when empty grocery shelves were an everyday occurrence. At least, most of us have. However, to shoppers in rural Alaska, slim pickings at the local supermarket is just business as usual.

Eliza Myers (@elizamyers2) regularly vlogs about her life on a small island in the southeast of America’s 50th state. A TikTok she posted on May 6 shows the harsh reality of grocery shopping in one of the USA’s most isolated towns. It has since picked up 2.3 million views and counting.

In the video, captioned “At [least] there’s still bread!!”, Myers displays what her local grocery looks like two days after it’s been fully restocked. Many of the shelves in the store have already been picked clean by previous shoppers.

“So I live in a small town in Alaska where the barge comes once a week from Washington [state] to Alaska, and it comes every Tuesday, and it’s currently Thursday,” she tells viewers. “It’s two days later, and this is what the store looks like.”

She pans her camera around the store, showing the many large gaps on the shelves of the grocery. What appears to be the dairy section is particularly empty, although there does appear to be a fair amount of produce and, as stated in the caption, bread.

Why are the shelves so empty?

Food insecurity is a real problem in Alaska, which lies at one of the farthest ends of the nation’s supply chains. Myers does not identify the name of her town. Still, other small towns in the state, such as Kodiak (population 5422), have to “ship in nearly all [their] food” due to their “relatively small population,” according to Alaska Public Media.

“We are seeing increased demand at food pantries and soup kitchens,” Rachael Miller, chief advocacy officer with the Food Bank of Alaska, told Governing.com. “There’s a huge strain on the system. This backlog has had a direct effect on people’s ability to eat and food banks’ ability to serve them.”

Scarcity also drives prices up. In 2021, Myers posted about the high price of groceries in the state, citing examples such as $24.99 for a block of Tillamook Cheddar and $18.29 for a quart of Darigold milk.

According to payscale.com’s cost of living calculator, the cost of living in Fairbanks, Alaska (population 32,107) is 23% higher than the U.S. average, with grocery prices that are 22% higher than average.

@elizamyers2 at leats there’s still bread!! #groceryshopping #comewithme #ditl #alaska #viral #fyp #errands ♬ original sound – Eliza Myers

Many of Myers’s viewers left comments in support of her situation.

“This is my nightmare,” one viewer commented.

Energy_Empty (@energy_empty) wrote, “I bet the barge coming is a whole event.”

A viewer claiming to live in the state wrote, “I’m in southeast Alaska and we have the same issue!” Meanwhile, a commenter from another state added, “Suddenly our Hawai’i prices don’t seem so bad,” in sympathy.

“Lived in Alaska the past 2 summers (not this year tho) even in a small town on the road system it’s like this,” another viewer added.

The Daily Dot has reached out to Myers via email for further comment.

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*First Published: May 16, 2024, 3:00 am CDT