Supply Chain and Food Insecurity

Supply Chain and Food Industry


Did your supply chain experience a disconnect between supply and demand during the pandemic?

APICS Greater Detroit supports supply chain professionals with the information and education they need to remain competitive in today’s world.

Yemisi Bolumole, Ph.D., CLTD-F, an associate professor of supply chain management at the Eli Broad College of Business, Michigan State University, recently shared an example of where this happened recently with food supply chains during COVID-19.

Read more in our latest blog post below.

Per Feeding America, millions of people are newly at risk due to the pandemic of experiencing food insecurity, alongside those who were experiencing food insecurity before the COVID-19 crisis began. Yemisi Bolumole shared recently in SupplyChain Management Review in response to the disconnect between supply and demand started in the pandemic with the food supply chain’s inability to get itself together fast enough. starting with the farmer whose tomatoes were rotting on the vine to the consumer who buys three bags of fresh apples and only winds up consuming one of those bags (and throws the rest away).

She’s go on to state, “With COVID, the issue wasn’t the absence of food in the supply chain; it was an oversupply of food in the wrong places. While farmers were experiencing extreme surplus due to reduced commercial demand from schools and restaurants, grocery stores struggled with delayed deliveries and shortages, and food banks faced unprecedented demand and shortages of donated food. This disconnect between supply and demand led to a lot of food waste in certain areas, and massive food insecurities in others. With no one to connect the dots between these two problems, the problem mounted.”

In Michigan, several food and agriculture businesses stepped up to help and donated food and funds to the state’s food banks. Kroger’s expanded Dairy Rescue Program – in partnership with dairy cooperative suppliers and farmers – pledged to donate 200,000 gallons of milk to Feeding America food banks through the end of summer. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farmers to Families Food Box Program also assisted delivering as of August 27th almost 75 Million boxes of fresh produce, dairy and meat to more than 10,000 food banks and nonprofit organizations.


How do we avoid such a large disconnect between supply and demand in the future as it pertains to food insecurity?

Even though many organizations have assisted during the pandemic to fix the broken supply chains, Bolumole suggests that going forward, we have to look beyond risk management that focuses on simply “keeping the lights on,” and incorporate a real social awareness angle to our risk assessment plans. She states there’s definitely an opportunity to establish supply chain driven social welfare units centered on ensuring survival of all stakeholders through a second COVID crisis; partnering with governments to ensure good public-private sector alignment; and encouraging people to come up with ideas for surviving the next COVID. We just have to get creative. As supply chain professionals, it’s our job to come up with an engine that allows great ideas to be put into action.

At APICS Greater Detroit we know the challenges supply chain professionals face every day as the world around us changes. Having a risk management plan that can adjust quickly and consider community needs is paramount to helping us all work through global impacts such as COVID-19.

Looking for more information on ways to remain competitive as we continue to emerge from the pandemic? APICS Greater Detroit has expert instructor-led classes beginning in just a few weeks! Starting in September we are offering the following courses to help supply chain professionals meet today’s top challenges and help you and your company ensure your teams have the skills needed.

Got questions? Send us an email at We are here to help!

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