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Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke February 7, 2022

No, this Pennsylvania Walmart didn’t run out of food

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  • Images of empty shelves at a Pennsylvania Walmart led some people to believe they were the result of a food shortage. In reality, there was a refrigeration issue at the store and employees temporarily relocated the perishables.

In a video being shared on social media, a camera pans over a section of a Walmart, showing empty shelves beneath signs for bacon, sausage, eggs, butter and more. 

"I’ve never seen anything like this in my f------- life," the person behind the camera says. 

"THERE IS ZERO FOOD AT WALMART DICKSON CITY!" reads a Feb. 5 Facebook post sharing the video. 

This post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

Some people commenting on the video blamed President Joe Biden and decried food shortages. Others offered an explanation. 

"We were there EARLY this morning and 20 or more workers were taking all the food out of the cases because they said the freezers weren’t working or keeping anything cold and they needed to preserve all the food," one person wrote. 

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A spokesperson for Walmart told us that there was a refrigerant leak that needed to be repaired over the weekend, so the store’s employees temporarily removed the perishables and then restocked them. 


When we called the Dickson City store and asked about the post, an associate there told us the same thing: The store never ran out of food, and other shelves weren’t affected at all, according to the company. 

In January, the Scranton Times-Tribune reported on Dickson City grocery stores affected by supply chain issues, and said in a story that "sporadic inventory issues continue to affect retailers" in central Pennsylvania, "although nowhere near the severity of the great toilet paper shortage of March 2020." 

"Products such as orange juice, cat food, frozen pizzas and ground beef, among others, can at times be hard to find," PennLive said. 

But the footage of Walmart that was posted on Facebook reflects an isolated problem with the refrigerators — not with the supply chain.

We rate claims that it ran out of food False.


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No, this Pennsylvania Walmart didn’t run out of food

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