The out-of-stock rate has been “much higher than normal” in stateside commissaries according to Defense Commissary Agency’s new director, Bill Moore. In order to ramp up production, officials are considering in implementing the Defense Production Act.

“The existing regulations say that commercial items are not covered under the guidance, but then again, these are unusual times,” said Steve Rossetti, president of the American Logistics Association. “In March, the Pentagon designated commissaries as ‘mission critical’ and said that extraordinary measures need to be taken to keep the stores open and products flowing.”

One culprit for empty shelves in the U.S. is that commissary officials have prioritized stocking commissaries at overseas locations first. “Forcing distributors to fill overseas orders and leaving little, if any, product for stateside stores,” said Rossetti.

Other factors affecting U.S. commissaries includes: more demand as more people are eating at home during the pandemic; a nationwide shortage of truck drivers that started long before the pandemic; a nationwide shortage of aluminum; effects of COVID on manufacturers’ work forces, Military Times reports.

Photo by the Defense Commissary Agency