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The question we at The Mountain Eagle are being asked most often during these days of business closures and social distancing is, “What happened to the grocery store sale papers?”

Here’s the answer: For the past few years, each of Letcher County’s most popular grocery stores — Whitakers’s Food World IGA at Neon, Isom IGA at Isom, Food City of Whitesburg, and the Save-A-Lot stores in Jenkins and Whitesburg — have paid our newspaper nearly every week to carry their preprinted advertising inserts, which we Letcher Countians generally refer to as “sale papers.”

However, that all changed on Friday, March 13 when the nation reacted to news of the growing coronavirus pandemic and cancellations of events like the NCAA Basketball Tournament by emptying shelves at stores all across the United States.

By the end of the workday on Monday, March 16, we had been notified by each of the grocery stores or the advertising agencies that represent them that all future “sale paper” placements were being canceled — at least through April, in most cases — with no idea when the regular advertising programs might be restarted. Other preprinted circulars that had been scheduled to run in April by companies such as Dollar General Store, Family Dollar Store, and Grand Home Furnishings have been canceled as well.

Like many of our readers, we at The Mountain Eagle look forward to the day that our major stores are able to restart their advertising programs — in our case, because the income generated from the sale of advertising goes to pay our monthly bills.

Meanwhile, we at the Eagle will continue to publish a quality newspaper full of original and factual local news — albeit with very little money to work with. If you would like to help make sure local journalism continues to fly your way as it has for the past 113 years, you can subscribe for a year or six months (if you live in Letcher County the paper will come to your mailbox on Wednesdays), or by going ahead and renewing your existing subscription early. Internet subscriptions are also available.

If you wish to subscribe or renew early, please call us at 606-633-2252 or visit our website at www.themountaineagle.com.

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