COVID-related coin shortage hits the local area

Coins: Photo by Josh Appel on Unsplash

For a while, people have heard about a coin shortage, but it seemed a little more in the distance than locally. But that is no longer the case. It has now hit the local area with residents in Walton and surrounding counties reporting instances in which places like Kroger, Walmart, the Home Depot and even some smaller retailers have not been able to make the correct change for customers paying in cash.

WalMart in Monroe was not giving pennies back today. Cashier said they had no pennies in entire store. Also all the self-checkouts were credit/debit only no cash accepted at self-checkouts,” said one commentator on Facebook.

“Dollar Tree in Loganville had a sign up that said they would buy pennies,” said another.

“Yep Kroger today,” said another. “My bill was $109.09 I was told I could round up or she could put it on a card.”

Some are a little suspicious of the whole thing, believing that it is just another way for the government to keep track of what you’re doing with your money.

“There is no coin shortage. It’s the way Government is trying to make us go cashless. Another way for them to control us through money,” another commenter wrote on Facebook – and that opinion was shared by many.

These issues began happening somewhat intermittently at first, but are becoming more and more prevalent.

So what is the reason? Well, believe it not, COVID-19, according to the Federal Reserve.

An order was put out on June 11 giving a temporary coin order allocation in all Reserve Bank offices and federal coin distribution locations, effective June 15.

“The COVID‐19 pandemic has significantly disrupted the supply chain and normal circulation patterns for U.S. coin. In the past few months, coin deposits from depository institutions to the Federal Reserve have declined significantly and the U.S. Mint’s production of coin also decreased due to measures put in place to protect its employees. Federal Reserve coin orders from depository institutions have begun to increase as regions reopen, resulting in the Federal Reserve’s coin inventory being reduced to below normal levels,” the Federal Reserve noted as the primary reasons for the shortage. It went on to note that as a result, Reserve Banks and Federal Reserve coin distribution locations would have to begin allocating coin inventories in a “fair and equitable way” while it works on mitigation measures such as stepping up production while “managing coin distribution.” Hence the current coin shortage.

As a way to mitigate the problem, the Federal Reserve also is encouraging banks and other depository institutions to remove barriers to consumer deposits of loose and rolled coins. So now is the time to empty those bottles, piggy banks and containers of loose change that you’ve been emptying out of pockets and wallets. That loose change is now in high demand.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply