Produce suppliers in the Northeast have shut down or limited deliveries as winter storm Stella dumped snow on the East Coast, although snowfall amounts in New York and Philadelphia were lower than originally predicted.
J. Kings Foodservice Professionals Inc., a food distributor in Holtsville, N.Y., decided the afternoon of March 13 to switch all March 14 deliveries to March 15 to avoid the hazardous road conditions forecast for the area. Joel Panagakos, salesman for the company, said the company based the decision on the advice from Long Island authorities in both Suffolk and Nassau counties who asked for all vehicles to remain off the roads during the storm.
Maurice A. Auerbach Inc., a garlic, specialty, and organic produce distributor in Secaucus, N.J., close down operations on March 14. Paul Auerbach, president of the company, said he expects to resume work early March 15, but closed on March 14 due to the safety of the company's personnel. Auerbach said the company made some deliveries to regular customers on March 13 in order to get ahead of the expected back-up caused by the storm.
Baldor Specialty Foods, the Bronx, remained open March 14, but in a limited capacity. Benjamin Walker, senior director of marketing and development, said Baldor reduced volumes to about 30% of what it would normally do and only delivered to hospitals, nursing homes and hotels.
My Brother Bobby's Salsa, a local manufacturer of fresh salsa and bruschetta in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., was also affected. Robert Gropper, owner of the company, said they ran the production later than usual on March13 night, despite assuming they would not ship the following day, because they were told by multiple retailers that they were sold out of their product on Monday afternoon. He said that his county declared a state of emergency, prohibiting any travel. The company plans to resume production on March 15, and deliveries on March 16.
The Food Bank for New York City closed on March 14, said associate director Carol Schneider. Food Bank for New York City is a charity organization in the Bronx. They are a hub for integrated food poverty assistance, fighting hunger on three fronts - emergency food distribution, income support and nutrition education. Schneider said she expects to return to work on time March 15.