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Vendors at Rio’s Olympic venues already running out of food

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Fireworks light up the night sky over Maracana Stadium during the opening ceremony at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, Aug. 5, 2016. (AP)

Just four days into Olympic games, local vendors in Rio de Janeiro say they already running out of food.

On Monday, the Sydney Morning Herald reported that over the weekend, many attendees faced hour-long lines at venues and upon reaching the counter, were often told by vendors that the food and water supplies had run out.

Rio organizing committee spokesman Mario Andrada says that the venues will now allow “people to leave…for food and water because this eases the pressure" to supply food and drink inside the gates. Organizers and local vendors are now saying several suppliers failed to deliver adequate food and drink commodities. 

But that hasn't stopped hungry fans from complaining about the lack of food or — when it's available — the monstrous lines to pay for it.

On Friday, food stands ran out of supplies a full hour before the opening ceremony at Maracanã Stadium even started. And on Saturday, food stalls at the Future Arena-- where handball games are played--closed early after running out of items. 

Also on Saturday, fans watching the U.S. vs. China basketball game, had to wait in three different lines only to be told that ticket printers were broken and no drinks could be sold until they were fixed.  Aside from the reports of insufficient stocks, a lot of anger has directed toward the system set up for people to pay. Olympic-goers must first pay for their food or beverage with one cashier and then enter a completely separate line to get their meal. 

Over the weekend, however, Andrada  issued an apology to spectators who were forced to wait in the the long lines or faced other other difficulties procuring food. 

“We are fully aware of the problem and frustration. We requested that the relevant authorities increase the speed and effectiveness with which people could enter the park by ensuring that more employees work on the x-ray machine,” the statement read. 

Andrada said that 100 workers had been deployed to help improve the situation and the point-of-sale ticket system had since been fixed. 

With almost two full weeks of the games left, the Olympic organizer says the food vendor issues  will get better "with new food trucks, more efficient water supply, and free water supplies for the public standing in line."

Food doesn't seem to be scarce at the Athlete Olympic Village, however. But there have been long lines reported at one surprising vendor: McDonald's.

 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.