Omaha company helps fill toilet paper shortage

Published: Apr. 8, 2020 at 4:37 PM CDT
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Toilet paper has become a highly sought after item and sometimes it is difficult to find.

The coronavirus scare has people rushing to grocery stores and buying all the TP they can find. It's created a shortage that was filled by a local company.

Once the coronavirus hit American shores, toilet paper became a hot item.

Some of that demand is being met here at Outlook Nebraska near 72nd and F streets.

The demand across the country has made such a shortage that no one has ever seen before," Outlook Nebraska Director of operations Brad Sheetf said.

Toilet paper production here is up from 30 tons daily to 50 tons each day. That's nearly 200,000 rolls of toilet paper.

The vast majority of that goes to government and military contracts.

"I would not have imagined supply lines being this vulnerable at this time." Outlook Nebraska CEO Eric Stueckrath said. "The current situation we are in is obviously very serious and our team took it upon themselves to offer some products to the general public. That went pretty darn quick."

And in a twist, nearly 40 of the employees working here are visually impaired.

"Busy, really busy but it's a challenge we can handle you know everybody has really stepped up to the plate and we're just knocking it out every day," said Ken Blackman.

"Our associates here are a part of the community and it gives them a sense of pride to be able to help out people in Omaha," said Sheetf.

While the virus has affected nearly every aspect of our lives, the workers here feel a greater sense of purpose.

And they are thankful for the opportunity.

"I think it's pretty serious from what I'm hearing its nothing to laugh about," Blackman said. "But people still have to go to work and do the job even though some people cant."

Heroes during this crisis are everywhere, even those that manufacture the most basic necessities.

"I don't think anybody could have guessed this (and) the pressure is on manufacturers and supply lines," Stueckrath said.

One important supply line is right here among us.

Outlook Nebraska recently released a paper towel line that is being sold at area HyVee stores.

We're told production increased due to government facilities increasing their orders due to the Coronavirus outbreak.

The company hopes to eventually make some products available to consumers should the need arise.