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Stores Try To Handle Influx Of Shoppers

Shopping carts blocking the entrance of Save-A-Lot, located at 169 Fairmount Ave., Lakewood, Wednesday when the store closed down to restock shelves and clean. P-J photo by Dennis Phillips

Local grocery stores are experiencing problems keeping shelves stocked while consumers react to the coronavirus, COVID-19, outbreak.

Farm Fresh Foods, located at 703 W. Third St., Jamestown, hasn’t put any restrictions on the number of items a shopper can purchase at a time because there is no need, said Dan Brown, Farm Fresh Foods owner.

“Even if we tried to (put a limit), it still would be gone within an hour,” he said. “Literally as we put (items) out, it’s gone.

Brown said he doesn’t expect the situation to become better when it comes to the supply of toiler paper he has.

“The supply is only so big. There are only so many toilet paper roles in the country. It will come to a point where we won’t see as much,” he said. “I’m not expecting it to get any better. It’s not the most promising outcome, but unfortunately its the times we are in. People are not sure what to think about this. It invokes panic.”

Brown said it’s just not items like toilet paper and hand sanitizer, also meat is selling at a high rate.

“Are fresh meats are going as quickly as we put them out. Fresh meats that can be frozen,” he said. “We had 40 cases of chicken breast and now we only have four.”

Brown said he is going through different distributors than he normally uses, some close and some far away, to try and have produce inside the store.

“We are having some marginal success,” he said.

Save-A-Lot located at 169 W. Fairmount Ave., Lakewood, is having problems keeping items in stock as well. On Wednesday, the store had to close around noon in order to restock shelves and clean. Kylie Pazolko, assistant store manager, said the store is low on some products because it’s a combination of people hoarding and people just buying what they need. She said store officials have limited the amount of water a customer can buy, which is one case at a time. She added there is no use to limit an item such as toilet paper because the store is sold out.

“We don’t have any and we don’t see any in the foreseeable future,” she said.

A manager at the Save-A-Lot in Jamestown, located at 194 Fluvanna Ave., also said the store is out of toiler paper.

“I believe it’s hoarding,” he said for why the store is out of toiler paper.

He said the Jamestown Save-A-Lot has limited the number of items a customer can purchase too. He added that a customer can buy only two gallons of milk, two loaves of bread, one carton of eggs and two cases of water at a time.

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