Chicken shortage forces New Bedford shoppers to turn to cold turkey


Alright, here we go with another rotisserie chicken story.

Some of you may remember the article I wrote last year about an elderly widow in New Bedford who was told she couldn’t use her food stamps to buy a hot roast chicken at the Market Basket store in town. The rules do not allow beneficiaries to use food stamps to purchase hot food. If she had waited until the chicken was a day old and cold, she could have had the bird.

Well, roast chickens are back on my radar screen. My wife asked me to pick up one of the hot, pre-cooked roast chickens at Market Basket after work the other day.

No matter how hard I looked, there was simply none in sight.

The supply chain shortage causing inventory to run out on many store shelves was not the culprit this time around. Bad weather prevented the shipment of chickens to market, and therefore to Market Basket – and not just roast chickens either. The whole crate of poultry looked like it had been plucked almost clean.

Barry Richard/TSM Photo

Barry Richard/Townsquare Media

The supply shortage was visible elsewhere in the store, notably in the pet food aisle, where cans of cat food appeared to be in short supply. I witnessed the same problem at the Fairhaven Stop & Shop on Friday. Do you think Fluffy would settle for a box of tissues instead of a box of Salmon Delight?

Barry Richard/TSM Photo

Barry Richard/Townsquare Media

I was happy to see that the toilet paper aisle seemed to be fully stocked. There’s still no evidence of a repeat of 2020’s toilet paper shortage, and that’s a good thing. I bought it anyway.

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