Hoarding Supplies Denies Others Ability To Buy Basic Needs

Sunday afternoon at the Food Lion in Carolina Beach. The shelves were emptied of bread, toilet paper,  paper towels and many other items. Like many other area stores, fresh chicken and beef were either in short supply or unavailable due to people rushing to stock their home freezers. Many stores continue to stock up the following day. Sunday afternoon at the Food Lion in Carolina Beach. The shelves were emptied of bread, toilet paper, paper towels and many other items. Like many other area stores, fresh chicken and beef were either in short supply or unavailable due to people rushing to stock their home freezers. Many stores continue to stock up the following day.

Hoarding Supplies Denies Others Ability To Buy Basic Needs Featured

By / Local News / Tuesday, 24 March 2020 19:59

By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
Managing Editor

CAROLINA BEACH - If you buy more than you need from store shelves, you are denying others who may be less financially stable from buying basic supplies like food, toilet paper and even baby food and diapers.

After speaking with the associates on the floors of area grocery stores in Carolina Beach earlier this week at Publix, Food Lion and Sea Merchants, the situation is clear. As soon as a delivery truck arrives, and the shelves and meat counters are stocked, people start buying as many items as they are allowed to purchase.

Sea Merchants has limits on how many packs of toilet paper and other items you can purchase per day. At Food Lion, the limits were less restrictive. Publix has placed more restrictive limits on a wide range of products. After speaking to store employees who didn't want to go on the record, the overall goal is to make sure as many customers as possible will be able to find the products they need to fulfill their daily needs in order to minimize the possibility of other customers being left out of the supply chain.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) there are no nationwide shortages of food, although in some cases the inventory of certain foods at your grocery store might be temporarily low before stores can restock. Food production and manufacturing are widely dispersed throughout the U.S. and there are currently no wide-spread disruptions reported in the supply chain.

USDA and the Food and Drug Administration are closely monitoring the food supply chain for any shortages in collaboration with industry and our federal and state partners. We are in regular contact with food manufacturers and grocery stores.

According to the (USDA  they are, "Monitoring the situation closely in collaboration with our federal and state partners. FNS is ready to assist in the government-wide effort to ensure all Americans have access to food in times of need. In the event of an emergency or disaster situation, Food and Nutrition Service programs are just one part of a much larger government-wide coordinated response. All of our programs, including SNAP, WIC, and the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs, have flexibilities and contingencies built-in to allow us to respond to on-the-ground realities and take action as directed by Congress."

You can learn more about available FNS flexibilities to help ensure food access during the pandemic response, please visit: www.fns.usda.gov/disaster/pandemic

The AMS Commodity Procurement Program (CPP) will remain fully operational and plans to continue to work with Federal, state and local partners to purchase and distribute food to participants in domestic and international nutrition assistance programs. However, many schools and other institutions are closed across the country, and there may be other disruptions at warehouses, ports, and distribution centers. This may result in requests to delay or divert deliveries or provide other flexibilities. We ask that vendors extend as much flexibility as possible and be assured that CPP Contracting Officers will utilize all available contractual flexibilities and contingencies to continue to serve program recipients effectively during this time.

One cashier at Food Lion in Carolina Beach explained on Sunday March 22nd, that a lady visited the store to buy diapers for her baby. The only diapers in stock where the larger more expensive packs and the lady could not afford to pay the higher price. That was due to other customers purchasing all of the less expensive product. 

Last week at the Publix in Carolina Beach, in one day they received a delivery of 15 cases of bananas in the morning and by the afternoon, they had to make another order. The same applies to ground beef. On Monday March 22nd, they received a shipment of ground beef. At 11AM there were eight packs on the shelf with a limit of two per customer. That stock quickly disappeared.

Suppliers have ample stock stored in warehouses, including cold storage for meats such as chicken, but as stores are finding themselves having to adjust their delivery volumes, combined with delivery logistics and trucking routes, it's a case of breaking new ground on meeting demand during a pandemic.

Produce seems to be less impacted in New Hanover County. For example, while shelves in stores in Carolina Beach are largely vacant of toilet paper, chicken and beef, on Monday all three stores in Carolina Beach were maintaining a healthy stock of many types of vegetables and fruit. Oranges, strawberries, tomatoes, potatoes, onions, lettuce and even fresh herbs.

Stores are placing limits on the number of certain items that can be purchased in an effort to curtail panic-buying during this pandemic.

Yet when presented with a limit on some items, customers will result to clearing out more than half of the stock of frozen pizzas at Publix in Carolina Beach over the previous weekend. The overall message from grocery store  managers is to pace your buying habits, practice social distancing and be aware that other people need to purchase supplies.

Publix CEO Todd Jones explained, "We are working tirelessly to have the items you need on our shelves. We have applied purchase limits on some key items to allow more customers to get what they need. Customers who need to, or prefer to, avoid public places may take advantage of delivery or curbside pickup of groceries and other items. Visit www.publix.com for details."

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