Bashas is having trouble filling his stores on Navajo Nation

In a letter to Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez, Bashas grocery stores said staff shortages are preventing the company from keeping shelves full.

NAVAJO COUNTY, Arizona – Editor’s Note: The video above is from a previous broadcast.

Bashas is trying to reassure the Navajo Nation that grocery stores are regularly restocked with supplies despite staff shortages and supply chain problems.

In a letter written to Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez this week, Bashas said his chain of grocery stores is battling a “perfect storm” of problems that have caused shortages across Arizona.

“We are facing unprecedented staffing shortages at our Chandler distribution center, both from regular labor shortages and workers coming in after the holiday season on sick leave,” the letter reads.

Bashas told President Nez the company is “not running out of groceries” and is working “around the clock” to make sure all of her stores have groceries on the shelves.

The shortages in US grocery stores have worsened in recent weeks.

New issues like the rapidly spreading Omicron variant and severe weather are adding to the supply chain struggles and labor shortages that have plagued retailers since the coronavirus pandemic began.

US groceries typically have 5% to 10% of their items out of stock at any given time. According to the Consumer Brands Association, the unavailability rate is around 15%.

Because the Navajo Nation is made up of many rural communities, some areas of the nation have few grocery stores and residents must travel long distances to purchase groceries.

Most of the nation was previously designated a “food desert” by the US Department of Agriculture.

“We encourage people to take what they need, not overbuy, and keep things available for their neighbors,” Bashas wrote in the letter.

Nez shared a copy of Bashas’ letter on social media.

LETTER FROM BASHAS TO NAVAJO CHURCHES 11/01/22 pic.twitter.com/XdnBbL1Onc

— President of the Navajo Nation Jonathan Nez (@NNPrezNez) January 11, 2022

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