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Grocery stores are doing best that they can

There are a lot of businesses and workers who are performing vital services during this coronavirus crisis. Grocers are chief among them. Our grocery stores in the Mahoning Valley are experiencing the same chaotic days as similar stores all across the country.

These store owners and managers are struggling to keep their stores supplied with the essential items people want to have on hand during these times of uncertainty. Bread, milk, eggs, soups, drinks and snacks are flying off the shelves almost as soon as they are stocked. Cleaning supplies, toilet paper, soaps, disinfectants and scores of other items are being snatched quickly from the shelves.

The wholesalers who supply these items are having trouble keeping sufficient supplies available to the stores. Advertising circulars, which have been printed weeks in advance, have become obsolete before they have been distributed because some advertised products just aren’t available in quantities to meet the demand. As a result, some grocery advertisements are not included in this Sunday newspaper.

Store owners tell us even if they have certain products they are snapped up and when shoppers come in to the empty shelves they sometimes take it out on the store’s employees or managers. Yes, these are trying times, but let’s try to be reasonable. These grocers always want to serve their customers by having the products they want to buy, when they want to buy them. Who would have thought this coronavirus scare would hit so hard, so quickly and put such a strain on the supply chain of so many products. Please understand, no one wants to have everything you need available more that that store owner or manager. These shortages are out of their control.

Some stores have wisely placed a quantity limit on many of the essential products. More will be on the way, so we don’t have to buy six dozen eggs at a time. The hens are still hard at work, and so are the farmers who want to get the eggs to the market. Hoarding just makes it worse. Level heads must prevail at this time. America has the greatest food supply chain in the world and it is working every day.

Let’s use common sense when we go to the store. Don’t crowd others, don’t handle items you don’t intend to buy, be courteous and mannerly. Times are tough enough. We don’t need disruption at a time when people are so concerned about what is happening.

And whether you are shopping for groceries, getting food through a drive-thru or interacting with a first-responder, give the folks who are working through these trying times a smile and a thumbs up. A little good humor goes a long way.

editorial@tribtoday.com

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