Shop for You, Shop for Others
As you prepare to stay home more, to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), you may have noticed shortages at the grocery stores. People are stocking up on food, hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, gloves and, for some reason, toilet paper. Grocers say these shortages are mainly due to consumer overstocking, not a disrupted supply chain. The problem with overstocking is that while we may get more than enough things for our own family, we aren’t leaving necessary supplies for others, including first responders, health care workers, and our most vulnerable neighbors.
Grocers are Urging People not to Overstock on Supplies
In a March 14 news release from the Washington State Department of Health, Jan Gee, president and CEO of the Washington Food Industry Association and its educational foundation commented on the current shopping situation “We want the public to be assured that if they will return to their normal pace of grocery shopping, there will be an adequate supply of products for their consumption. We also want the public to be assured of the fact that the grocery stores are taking extensive measures to reduce any opportunity for contamination in our stores, and with the public’s cooperation, we will continue to provide a clean, virus-free environment stocked with healthy and fresh foods for everyone.”
- Try shopping online! Most grocery stores have options to shop online and
have your groceries delivered to your home or to your car in the grocery store parking lot. Be sure to make notes about acceptable substitutions for items or brands that may be out of stock.
- Avoid buying in excess, leave some for your neighbors.
- If you must physically go to the grocery store, try shopping during less busy times to minimize contact with others. Remember to maintain a 6-foot space between yourself and others, clean grocery cart handles with disinfectant wipes, and wash your hands or use hand sanitizer after leaving the store.
- Support local restaurants by ordering takeout or delivery food. The governor closed restaurants for two weeks, through March 31, to increase social distancing, not because the food is a risk.
- Coronaviruses are generally thought to be spread from person-to-person through respiratory droplets. Currently there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with food.
- Subscribe to a meal delivery service to get ingredients, for easy-to-make meals, delivered to your door.
- Reach out to people in your life who have mobility issues or other challenges to getting to the store, to see if you can help them access remote grocery options or offer to pick up and drop off groceries on their doorstep.
“Real strength has to do with helping others. ”
Next time you shop, think about saving some for others and only buy what you need. You will be helping our community be stronger and healthier by doing so! As Fred Rogers said in his book, The World According to Mister Rogers: Important Things to Remember, "Real strength has to do with helping others."