Letcher County grocery stores tried to reassure people today in a week when food, toilet paper, and hand sanitizer hoarders have run amok.
While there has been a proliferation of photos on social media showing empty grocery shelves that have led to some empty shelves here, stores here say that for the most part, they don’t expect shortages, at least no more so than normal.
Gwen Christon, owner of Isom IGA, said her store was “operating as normal” this week and still receiving regular product shipments. She said that she and her employees regularly clean and sanitize the entire store — “produce, meat, bakery and deli” — by using a cleaning system with products like those used in hospitals.
In Neon, Food World IGA owner David Whitaker said he has put purchase limits on some items that are limited by his supplier, but the limits he’s seen so far are minimal.
“We’ve got toilet paper, and we’ve got a good supply of other things,” he said. “We got meat in today.”
He blamed shortages that have occurred on Gov. Andy Beshear for scaring people.
“I think our governor has gone a long way toward creating this panic by telling families they should keep a 30-days supply of food,” he said. “Most people can’t even afford to do that.”
Food City in Whitesburg is changing hours as a result of the ongoing pandemic.
Company spokeswoman Tammy Baumgardner said the store will open later and close earlier, with the first hour reserved for customers 65 and older and those atrisk because of underlying health conditions.
“Effective immediately, we are temporarily adjusting our store hours of operation to 7 a.m. until 10 p.m. daily, to give our associates additional time to clean, sanitize and restock,” Baumgardner said in a release.
“We are working diligently to continue to maintain stock levels to service our customers and are in constant communication with supply chain teams,” she said.
“We encourage you to continue to monitor this evolving situation and closely follow the CDC recommendation and guidelines.” The latest recommendations and guidelines can be found at www.coronavirus. gov
Food City also announced Tuesday that it plans to hire 2,500 additional associates over its three-state market area, including cashiers, courtesy clerks, day/night stockers, as well as in experienced/ skilled positions, such as meat cutters, cake decorators, retail management.