Fact Check: TikTok posts – There's no evidence shelves in Florida grocery store are empty because of a truckers’ boycott
Some social media posts are calling on truck drivers to stop cargo deliveries to Florida to express disagreement with a new state immigration law.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, on May 10 signed into law S.B. 1718, which invalidates all out-of-state driver’s licenses issued to immigrants in the country illegally, bans local governments from issuing them IDs, and requires certain hospitals to collect and report healthcare costs incurred by people living in the state illegally.
A TikTok video claims to show the effects of a truck driver boycott.
“No groceries smh sad these truckers weren’t playing when they said they were not delivering anything to Florida !!!,” said text in the May 14 video.
The video shows empty shelves at what appears to be the packaged deli section of a Walmart store. Toward the end of the video, a shopper is seen pushing a blue grocery cart. However, the video also shows a wall full of products and a cart with cardboard boxes, including a box containing what appear to be paper towel rolls.
The post does not specify where it was filmed, but it includes a location pin for Palmetto, Florida. PolitiFact found another post on TikTok making a similar claim.
The posts were flagged as part of Meta’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)
PolitiFact contacted the Walmart store in Palmetto for more information, but an employee did not want to comment. We also reached out to Walmart’s media relations office but did not hear back.
Alix Miller, the Florida Trucking Association’s president and CEO, told PolitiFact she was not aware of any issues regarding truckers delivering goods to Florida.
PolitiFact also contacted the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, which represents more than 150,000 truck owners and operators in the U.S. and Canada.
“We don’t know of anyone participating in a boycott nor the veracity of the images,” said Norita Taylor, a spokesperson for the association.
Nixa Haisley, a senior purchasing agent for the city of Palmetto, told PolitiFact that she recently visited the store and saw no shortages.
The Tallahassee Democrat on May 15 reported on the social media posts calling for truck driver boycotts. The newspaper said the video of the store’s empty shelves had not been verified. It also said that grocery stores often empty shelves to clean and restock or when there is a mechanical problem with the refrigeration.
PolitiFact found no recent news reports about food shortages in Palmetto stores.
TikTok videos blame empty shelves at a Florida grocery store on truckers saying “they were not delivering anything to Florida!!!”
Although some social media posts have encouraged truck drivers to boycott Florida because of a new state immigration law, trucking organizations told PolitiFact that they knew of no such current boycotts.
The posts show empty shelves at what appears to be a Walmart store, and one of the posts suggests the video was taken in Palmetto, Florida. However, we found no recent reports of grocery shortages in Palmetto.
In the absence of evidence to support this claim, we rate it False.