When hungry fans call, 'Velveeta town' responds

When hungry fans call, 'Velveeta town' responds

A Velveeta cheese shortage would be the last straw.

What with the tornado and its damage, the recent blizzard complete with a "polar vortex," a weak economic recovery and dysfunctional Obamacare, there's a limit to how much bad news people can take.

So it comes as a considerable relief that Kraft Foods Group has announced that the great Velveeta shortage of 2014, assuming there really was one, will no longer be a shortage.

A Kraft spokeswoman announced last week that the company's Champaign plant is "working around the clock" and "doing everything we can" to meet public demand for the processed cheese that effetes disdain, but regular folks just love.

Some people may not know it, but the Kraft plant located on North Mattis Avenue in Champaign is ground zero for Velveeta, the "home of the loaf" as it's known in the trade. So when news reports surfaced that some stores didn't have enough Velveeta cheese to meet the demand, it was big news.

The back story is that the Kraft consolidated its Velveeta-making production lines in Champaign. That's good news because it created 39 new jobs as well as another identity for Champaign-Urbana, home of the University of Illinois and Velveeta.

Apparently it takes awhile to get new production lines running at peak efficiency, and the slowdown led to the reported shortage. That's why a Kraft spokeswoman said, "We expect this to be a short-term issue."

Thank goodness for that. Consumers apparently like to use Velveeta in their football-related food preparation. We've just been through the college bowl season, and now we're in the middle of the NFL playoffs leading to the Super Bowl. The public needs it Velveeta, Kraft said they'll get it, and they better.

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