Oh 2020, this year has had us all missing toilet paper, ramen noodles, hand sanitizer and now we can add coins to that list.  But why pocket change?  It’s all because of the coronavirus. No, the United States Treasury hasn’t completely shut down down the presses, but the shutdowns that left us all locked up on our couches for a few months also did a whammy on the circulation of coins due to the lack of commerce.

Locally Amarillo National Bank has created a program to encourage more people to put their coins back into circulation, by offering 10% cash back of the total brought in, up to a maximum of $500.

Fewer people out and about  and more opting for touch less forms of payment means a lot less money moving around. Now, the nation’s supply of coins is coming up short, and average Americans are already seeing the result. Signs requesting exact change or digital payments are popping up at stores all over Amarillo.

It’s become such a problem that The Federal Reserve set up a U.S. Coin Task Force to ensure the equitable distribution of Federal Reserve coin inventory and new coin production by the U.S. Mint.

Here’s what the task force is doing about it:

Managing the allocation of existing Fed inventories

Working with the Mint to minimize coin supply constraints and maximize production

Encouraging banks to limit coin orders

The experts believe the situation will sort itself out.

“There’s plenty of coin out there. It’s just not making it to the right place at this point,” Coinstar CEO Jim Gaherity told CNBC last month.

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