Of all of the consequences of COVID-19, a national coin shortage wasn’t one we saw coming, writes Victor Fiorillo for phillymag.com.
So why is there a national coin shortage? According to the U.S. Federal Reserve, the COVID‐19 pandemic has disturbed the normal circulation patterns for coins.
Cash transactions declined significantly during the COVID-19 shutdown. That meant less coin deposits from depository institutions to the Federal Reserve also declined.
The U.S. Mint’s production of coin also dropped because of health safety measures for its employees.
As regions reopen, the Federal Reserve now finds its coin inventory coming up short.
Businesses everywhere, including the Philly region’s favorite, Wawa, are now asking for credit purchases or exact change to make up the shortage.
Many businesses, including Wawa, are offering a third option.
Customers who pay with cash but don’t have exact change can “round up” their purchase with a donation to a charity.
At Wawa, it’s the Wawa Foundation, which supports several organizations and initiatives, like the Broad Street Ministry.
For those of us hoarding coins at home in coffee cans or water jugs, Wawa is also offering to exchange those coins for paper money.
Read more about the national coin shortage here.