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No milk anywhere as Penticton grocery stores face shortages

Products can’t get to the Okanagan from the Lower Mainland due to closed highways

There is no milk to be had in any of Penticton’s grocery stores, or in any store across the Okanagan.

There’s also little produce to be had as well with most grocery shelves bare.

Save-On-Foods said all shipments in and out of the Lower Mainland are on hold based on current road conditions that see all routes from the Coast to the Interior blocked due to flooding, rock and landslides.

“We are exploring all avenues to get product to our stores as quickly as possible,” said a spokesperson for Save-On-Foods.

One man had been to every grocery store looking for milk without any success.

With highways closed connecting the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island to the rest of Canada, B.C.’s milk farmers are facing steep challenges getting their supply to consumers.

The B.C. Milk Marketing Board directed producers in the Fraser Valley, Okanagan and Interior on Tuesday (Nov. 16) to dispose of milk in their manure pits. Before disposing, producers are being asked to record their dipstick measurements.

READ MORE: B.C. milk farmers told to throw out product as flood-ravaged highways cut off access to Canada

On Tuesday, all Penticton grocery stores saw people panic buying but with little to shop for in terms of dairy and produce. There seems to be still a good supply of meats everywhere.

Save-On-Foods in Penticton had lineups into the aisles and Safeway saw crowds as well Tuesday. To keep supplies on the shelves, grocery stores are asking customers to maintain normal shopping habits.

“This will help our team members keep the shelves full for everyone. We understand that these are uncertain times and many people just want to do what’s right for their families,” said a statement from Save-On-Foods.

As of press deadline Tuesday, there has been no timeline for when any of the closed highways will reopen.

READ MORE: Okanagan stores face product shortages

READ MORE: Canada Post expects delays

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Monique Tamminga

About the Author: Monique Tamminga

Monique brings 20 years of award-winning journalism experience to the role of editor at the Penticton Western News. Of those years, 17 were spent working as a senior reporter and acting editor with the Langley Advance Times.
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