YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - As coronavirus continues to affect the U.S., its impacts have touched every part of our lives.
Amid the crisis, there have been fears the disease could threaten our food production and supply.
In today’s Home Grown, I spoke to one local restaurant owner who spends every day wondering whether the food he needs will be available and affordable.
Like most restaurant owners, Chef Eddie Guzman with Takos & Beer has noticed a shift in the local produce that has been made available to him during this pandemic.
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), while food supplied to restaurants like Guzman’s suddenly declined, the demand for food at the grocery stores increased.
Some of the food products Guzman relies on are local produce and meat products, which are being diverted to retail.
Something the FDA says is an issue of higher demand from the retail sector.
“We are getting a shortage of meats. But thank God we got local farmers. So I want Yuma to also support farmers, our growers. And I want to thank Yuma for all their support, for all their donations. If you support us, you’re supporting not just the restaurant, but you’re supporting families here, and you’re supporting the farmers, you’re supporting the growers,” said Guzman.
According to Womply, a private consulting firm, credit card transactions from nationwide local businesses, showed that restaurant sales on April 1 were about 50% lower than in the previous year.
A big factor that plays into what local produce is available to Guzman every week is how farmers are responding to changing market conditions.
However, as we have heard from farmers in many past Home Grown segments, agriculture has shown time and again its ability to evolve quickly in order to respond to new situations.
Chef Guzman is doing everything he can to continue to not only feed the community during the Covid-19 pandemic, but also help those on the frontlines.
Every Saturday, he will be grilling up some customer favorites to benefit frontline workers and families in need.
He is also accepting donations from organizations and the community, which Guzman will then match 100%, to go towards the food they give the following week.
Unfortunately, Guzman has had to lay off several of his workers and hopes that some of the money he raises will also allow him to hire back some of his staff.
If you would like to support Takos & Beer and their efforts to help families or frontline workers in need, you can visit their Facebook page.
Next Saturday, Guzman will be feeding local families affected by Covid-19.
If you are someone who needs food, you can email Guzman at firstname.lastname@example.org, with your story of how you have been affected.