CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Grocery stores have been doing what they can to keep the shelves stocked but they are facing an overwhelming demand throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
“There were more empty spots than usual,” says Chad Starnes.
The Director of the North Carolina Emergency Management department is urging people not to buy all their groceries at once. Shelves inside of many stores are sparse and people who want to place online orders are forced to wait days.
People are panic buying in response to the coronavirus. What you get depends on where you go and when. Produce and meats have been running low, toilet paper is completely gone most places and there are limits on certain items.
“This is the third store I've been to in the last 2 hours. So empty shelves here are in this department, somewhere else is in another department, and somewhere else is yet another department,” says Wade Baker.
Every is supposed to be practicing social distancing, so some people are turning to grocery delivery services. But the demand for groceries is so high, in some places, orders won’t be fulfilled until next week, forcing people to the store anyway.
“I’m not overly fearful but it’s definitely a concern and I’m paying attention to what I’m touching," says Starnes.
Stores are cutting down on hours to restock and clean. Publix closes at 8 every night, Harris Teeter at 9 and 24 hour Walmart’s are reducing their hours and closing at 11.
“My goodness, if this thing keeps on going on, it’s rough,” says Phillip Edwards.
A reminder to wash your hands before and after grocery shopping, disinfect the cart you use, and try and keep a safe distance from other shoppers.