Customers may have noticed signs posted at their local banks saying there is a nationwide coin shortage and asking them to break open their piggy banks and bring in their change.
According to the Federal Reserve, at frbservices.org, the coin shortage was recognized by the Federal Reserve Bank in June of this year, and a task force was created in mid-June to study the issue and determine solutions. The shortage is said to be caused by multiple Coronavirus issues, including, among other things: business closures slowing or halting some circulation, less change being deposited at banks, and decreased production at the U.S. Mint as employee coronavirus protection measures were put in place.
It should be noted that this does not mean there are suddenly no coins available, only that they are not currently circulating as they normally would.
As a result of the shortage, the Federal Reserve recently limited the amount of coins available to banks everywhere to preserve the coin supply chain. To help address the issue at the local level, some banks have taken to asking customers to bring in their change to deposit or cash in.
In some areas, some businesses have also begun requesting customers pay with checks or cards to avoid having to make change. That change does not seem to have made it to this area yet. Stewart Anderson, store manager at the Shenandoah Walmart store, said they had encountered some difficulties in handling the coin shortage, but nothing so severe as to require a change in operations yet.
The situation, like the COVID-19 pandemic, is ongoing, and the patience and assistance of area residents during the shortage is appreciated by these businesses.