Food supplier stops delivering
Panda Kitchen in Hillsboro was forced to close Aug. 10 to Aug. 19 because its supplier, Sysco, was refusing to stop at its location.
Sysco dropped Parkside on Thursday with only an overnight warning.
“Yesterday, I got a ‘successfully submitted’ on an email I submitted for confirmation,” Parkside dietary staff member Heather Haskin said. “This morning, when I looked for the estimated time for my delivery, it was canceled.”
Parkside also orders from another supplier, Evco, so residents didn’t go hungry. However, Haskin had to stock ingredients Sysco would have provided.
“One thing I was really counting on was hamburgers. I had to go to Dillons to buy hamburgers,” she said.
Josh Tajchman, who was a Sysco customer for 12 years in California and has been for one year in Marion at Taco’s Food Truck, was told the problem was a shortage of warehouse staff and truck drivers.
“They literally are shorthanded on staff members in the warehouse,” he said.
“Now that things have opened back up, the demand has really ramped up. With their staff being limited right now, it’s caused a domino effect.”
Carla Hamm at Mama C’s called her suppliers, Evco and Ben E. Keith’s.
“We’ve talked about it just because I wanted to see if this was ever going to end up affecting me,” she said. “I wouldn’t know where all these other customers would go or if they could absorb all those customers if they leave Sysco.”
The worker shortage reportedly affects only Sysco’s Kansas City location, creating problems all over Kansas. Drivers started to skip smaller vendors at the start of August.
“They’ve reassured me that they’re working with urgency to get people trained and get back to normal deliveries,” Tajchman said. “They told me it was really short-term, two or three weeks. We’re going on about two weeks right now.”
Tajchman also orders from U.S. Foods so he can compare prices between the two companies. He said he had put his relationship with Sysco on pause.
Meanwhile, Sysco drivers pass his truck on their way to deliver to St. Luke Hospital and Living Center.
Despite repeated attempts, Sysco could not be reached for comment.