Published by the Chatham News + Record

SILER CITY — As people make runs to grocery stores, clearing shelves, fears of a shortage of food prevails.

But in reality, workers in food and agriculture sector — that means agricultural production, food processing, distribution, retail and food service — are named as essential critical infrastructure workers, according to guidance issued by the Dept. of Homeland Security on March 19.

In Siler City, Mountaire Farms’ poultry processing plant is continuing to operate, producing 280,000 chickens per day, or 2.2 million pounds per week, according to Mark Reif, Mountaire’s North Carolina community relations manager. The company, Reif notes, “immediately created a Coronavirus Task Force to prepare,” which includes leadership from every department. The group meetings regularly “to coordinate and communicate our response.”

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