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Canning supply shortage?

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While corresponding a couple days ago with Glenda Lehman Evrin, VP of Marketing at Lehman’s, she mentioned something in passing that staggered me: “By the way, we just heard from Ball [the manufacturer] … no canning jars until March of 2021!”

Almost immediately after that, I received a generic email from Tattler reusable canning lids (I’m on their email list) as follows: “Due to a nationwide canning supply shortage, we have been overwhelmed with orders. Everyone at Tattler is working diligently to get them out to each and every customer as quickly as possible. We know everyone wants to know the status of their order, but due to the overwhelming amount of emails it is prohibitive to respond. Thank you for understanding. We are sorry for the inconvenience.”

I haven’t had to buy canning supplies for years, so somehow I completely missed this devopment, but it seems there is a severe nationwide shortage of canning supplies.

A quick internet search confirmed it:

Watch out, there’s a canning lid shortage

The latest COVID-19 shortage is canning lids

Trouble in store as Covid canning craze leads to empty shelves and price gouging

Shortages of canning supplies cause headaches for home gardeners

Canning lids are in short supply

If You’re Struggling to Find Canning Supplies Right Now, You’re Not Alone

Increase in canning during quarantine leads to supply shortage

The Great Canning Lid Shortage of 1975, and a history of canning lids

As a passionate canner, how did I miss all this? I mean honestly, how?

Glenda added in a later email: “Ball said they have stopped accepting purchases orders until they get caught up and won’t ship anything until March of 2021. When I go to the grocery I am always surprised at what they are out of – one week it’s paper towels, the next week it is tomatoes, and the next week it is hamburger. Strange times.”

So I looked around, and by golly everyone’s right. Canning supplies are in short supply.

Here’s the shelf at our local grocery store:

Then I went into the city (Coeur d’Alene) a couple days ago, first time since early August. Specifically I went to Walmart, where I haven’t been in nearly a year, certainly since before the whole coronavirus was a thing. My goal was to find some moccasin slippers.

Well, it was a challenge.

This could be why: Made in China.

In fact, I saw a surprising number of understocked shelves at Walmart, in a variety of unrelated categories — shoes, office supplies, and of course canning supplies.

(As an interesting aside, the young man — and I mean young; he looked 18 or so — operating the cash register was wearing a “thin blue line” face mask. I couldn’t quite hear what customers were saying to him — remember, we were all spaced six feet apart — but it seemed he was getting many compliments. I know I gave him one.)

My next stop was Winco, which had utterly bare shelves where the canning supplies were supposed to be.

As I checked out at Winco, the polite checker asked me if I had found everything I was looking for. “Everything except canning supplies,” I quipped. She laughed ruefully and shook her head.

What’s your experience? What are you seeing? If you can’t find canning supplies, how are you coping?


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