“The food supply chain is breaking,” Tyson Foods’ chairman John Tyson wrote last week in an ad in the Washington Post and the New York Times, warning that “there will be a limited supply of our products in grocery stores until we are able to reopen our facilities that our currently closed.”

Around the country, large meat-processing plants — the slaughterhouses where cows, pigs, and chickens are cleaned and broken down into familiar cuts — have been forced to close by coronavirus cases and social distancing measures. That creates the possibility for a bottleneck in the supply chain that moves beef, pork, and chicken from farms to some supermarket shelves.

Small butcher shops and grocers aren’t necessarily immune from the shortage, either: The U.S. livestock industry is so consolidated, the closure of just a dozen plants disrupts production on a national scale.

With demand on the rise and less meat hitting the market, it may be harder to find meat, and it may be more expensive.

Michael Beiler, 30, of Lancaster, Pa., manager at L. Halteman Family Country Foods, prepares an order for shipping.
TYGER WILLIAMS / Staff Photographer
Michael Beiler, 30, of Lancaster, Pa., manager at L. Halteman Family Country Foods, prepares an order for shipping.

However, smaller outfits may have less consumer competition and a more diverse (or more local) set of suppliers, and their employees may steer you to better-priced proteins. From restaurant suppliers-turned-retailers and area farms to local co-ops and butcher shops, here are some alternatives to your supermarket’s meat aisle; for delivery information, check here.

  • Ashley Foods: Wholesaler near Kensington offering al la carte and protein package options for beef, poultry, pork, veal, and more. Check daily specials on Facebook. Order: 215-426-4103.
  • Baldor Grocery: New York-based Mid-Atlantic wholesaler now servicing retail customers; offerings include beef, pork, duck, and lamb. Order: baldorfood.com/baldorhomedelivery.
  • Ely Farm Products: Bucks County farm selling hickory-smoked bacon and ham, plus beef, pork, and poultry. Order: 215-860-0669.
  • Exceptional Foods: Pennsauken wholesaler with Philly roots delivering beef, pork, veal, poultry, and lamb via FedEx. Order: exfoods.com/shop.
  • Foods Galore: Pennsauken wholesaler whose meat selections include beef tenderloin, bacon, chicken breast, pork roll, and kosher items. Order: 1-800-220-0123, then dial 0.
Naturally-raises chickens of different sizes, smoked bacon and ground beef are part of one weekly CSA meat box from Green Meadow Farms, which changes weekly.
Craig LaBan
Naturally-raises chickens of different sizes, smoked bacon and ground beef are part of one weekly CSA meat box from Green Meadow Farms, which changes weekly.
Maria Crimi, left, Joe Cataldi, center, and Domenick Crimi, work on online orders at Cappuccio's Meats at the Italian Market in Philadelphia on Saturday, April 11, 2020.
HEATHER KHALIFA / Staff Photographer
Maria Crimi, left, Joe Cataldi, center, and Domenick Crimi, work on online orders at Cappuccio's Meats at the Italian Market in Philadelphia on Saturday, April 11, 2020.
  • Julius Silvert: Fourth-generation distributor in North Philadelphia offering chicken, ham, beef, pork roll, and more for delivery to zip codes in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey. Order: wearegourmetfoods.com.
  • Larry Inver Wholesale Foods: Northern Liberties restaurant supplier-turned-retailer selling boneless pork, grass-fed beef, and chicken. Order: facebook.com/Inverfoods and find the Google form link.
  • Maximuck’s Farm & Garden: Doylestown farm selling ground beef and pork, steaks, bacon, sausage, and roasts for curbside pickup. Order: 215-297-9894.
  • The Meat House: Independent grocer in Chadds Ford offering — among other cuts — marinated chicken, boneless pork loin, and steaks, plus alligator sausage and camel burgers. Order: themeathousechaddsford.com.
  • Merrymead Farms: A field-trip farm in Lansdale that also sells ground beef and turkey, lamb patties, and sausage. Order: 610-584-4410.
  • Necessity Farm and Dairy: Telford family farm selling grass-fed beef, free-range chicken, pastured pork, and smoked meats. Order: 267-382-0556.
  • Primal Supply: South Philly and Brewerytown butcher shop with a 100% local and independent supply chain. Order: primalsupplymeats.com/store.
Heather Marold Thomason — pictured here in a photo taken October 9, 2017 — owns Primal Supply, a locally sourced butcher shop with locations in Brewerytown and South Philly.
KAIT MOORE / Staff Photographer
Heather Marold Thomason — pictured here in a photo taken October 9, 2017 — owns Primal Supply, a locally sourced butcher shop with locations in Brewerytown and South Philly.
  • Weavers Way: Co-op with locations in Mount Airy, Chestnut Hill, and Ambler, offering poultry, pork, lamb, beef, and more. Order: weaversway.coop.
  • Westtown Amish Market: This West Chester market’s protein purveyors include Dutch Family Fresh Meats and Jarlin’s Poultry. Order: 610-492-5700.