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California Grocers Association urges people to stop hoarding goods

Group launches #Enough4All campaign, saying there is plenty of food amid coronavirus crisis

The California Grocers Association has a message for people flocking to the grocery stores to stock up on supplies amid the coronavirus crisis: Don’t buy so much.

As just about every California resident has seen in recent weeks, grocery store shelves have been eerily empty — especially missing staples like dry goods and toilet paper — as stores struggle to keep up with customer demand. Shelter-in-place orders came — first from six Bay Area counties, then later from Gov. Gavin Newsom — inspiring many worried shoppers to buy more than they need.

But the California Grocers Association, a nonprofit trade organization which represents 300 retailers statewide, said in a statement released March 24 that customers don’t need to keep filling their carts to the brim with excess foodstuffs.

“In these uncertain times, Californians can be assured that grocery stores will remain open and that food and essential supplies remain plentiful,” said president and CEO Ronald Fong in the statement. “The bare shelves you are occasionally seeing do not indicate lack of supply. It is a temporary result of consumers overbuying given the understandable worry right now.”

Fong said that customers should only purchase what they need for one week and should resist the tendency to overbuy.

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The group launched a campaign to spread the word this week, dubbed #Enough4All, including a website and banners meant to be shared on social media, headed with the slogan “Buy Smart, Don’t Overfill Your Cart.”

“Getting shopping patterns back to normal will reduce stress on the distribution system and can go a long way toward creating some normalcy in our grocery stores,” Fong said.

San Mateo County supervisor gives tentative thumbs-up

Before the California Grocers Association launched its campaign to curb overbuying — what some call “hoarding” — San Mateo County Supervisor David Canepa was prepared to take a more drastic step: Introduce legislation to make grocery stores limit the amount of items people can buy.

He said he was concerned that overbuying at the grocery store “jeopardizes the health and safety of our most vulnerable residents,” suggesting that items may be in short supply for the elderly, a group which the Centers for Disease Control has identified as being at higher risk of developing severe cases of the novel coronavirus.

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Canepa said he would “propose legislation to mandate purchase limits to no more than four items” during the current coronavirus shelter-in-place order.

But as Canepa was on the cusp of bringing that item up to the county Board of Supervisors, the recent actions of the California Grocers Association convinced him to hold off — at least for now.

His office had been in discussions with the grocers association for more than a week before the #Enough4All campaign was announced. Canepa told The Almanac that the grocers association persuaded him that it could solve the overbuying problem, but he made it clear that he's keeping the legislation in his back pocket.

“We’re going to give them two months. I want to see what they will be able to accomplish,” he said. “I want to give them the benefit of the doubt that they can fix this. However, if they don't, then we'll regulate the hell out of them.”

Find comprehensive coverage on the Midpeninsula's response to the new coronavirus by the Almanac, Mountain View Voice and Palo Alto Online here.

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California Grocers Association urges people to stop hoarding goods

Group launches #Enough4All campaign, saying there is plenty of food amid coronavirus crisis

by / Almanac

Uploaded: Fri, Mar 27, 2020, 1:46 pm
Updated: Mon, Mar 30, 2020, 9:03 am

The California Grocers Association has a message for people flocking to the grocery stores to stock up on supplies amid the coronavirus crisis: Don’t buy so much.

As just about every California resident has seen in recent weeks, grocery store shelves have been eerily empty — especially missing staples like dry goods and toilet paper — as stores struggle to keep up with customer demand. Shelter-in-place orders came — first from six Bay Area counties, then later from Gov. Gavin Newsom — inspiring many worried shoppers to buy more than they need.

But the California Grocers Association, a nonprofit trade organization which represents 300 retailers statewide, said in a statement released March 24 that customers don’t need to keep filling their carts to the brim with excess foodstuffs.

“In these uncertain times, Californians can be assured that grocery stores will remain open and that food and essential supplies remain plentiful,” said president and CEO Ronald Fong in the statement. “The bare shelves you are occasionally seeing do not indicate lack of supply. It is a temporary result of consumers overbuying given the understandable worry right now.”

Fong said that customers should only purchase what they need for one week and should resist the tendency to overbuy.

The group launched a campaign to spread the word this week, dubbed #Enough4All, including a website and banners meant to be shared on social media, headed with the slogan “Buy Smart, Don’t Overfill Your Cart.”

“Getting shopping patterns back to normal will reduce stress on the distribution system and can go a long way toward creating some normalcy in our grocery stores,” Fong said.

San Mateo County supervisor gives tentative thumbs-up

Before the California Grocers Association launched its campaign to curb overbuying — what some call “hoarding” — San Mateo County Supervisor David Canepa was prepared to take a more drastic step: Introduce legislation to make grocery stores limit the amount of items people can buy.

He said he was concerned that overbuying at the grocery store “jeopardizes the health and safety of our most vulnerable residents,” suggesting that items may be in short supply for the elderly, a group which the Centers for Disease Control has identified as being at higher risk of developing severe cases of the novel coronavirus.

Canepa said he would “propose legislation to mandate purchase limits to no more than four items” during the current coronavirus shelter-in-place order.

But as Canepa was on the cusp of bringing that item up to the county Board of Supervisors, the recent actions of the California Grocers Association convinced him to hold off — at least for now.

His office had been in discussions with the grocers association for more than a week before the #Enough4All campaign was announced. Canepa told The Almanac that the grocers association persuaded him that it could solve the overbuying problem, but he made it clear that he's keeping the legislation in his back pocket.

“We’re going to give them two months. I want to see what they will be able to accomplish,” he said. “I want to give them the benefit of the doubt that they can fix this. However, if they don't, then we'll regulate the hell out of them.”

Find comprehensive coverage on the Midpeninsula's response to the new coronavirus by the Almanac, Mountain View Voice and Palo Alto Online here.

Comments

Joseph E. Davis
Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Mar 27, 2020 at 3:20 pm
Joseph E. Davis, Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Mar 27, 2020 at 3:20 pm
6 people like this

When the demand for goods increases faster than the supply, prices go up. The shortages we observe are a sign that retail prices are too low. Low prices encourage hoarding and reduce the incentive for more supply to come to market.

Price gouging laws are harmfully prolonging these shortages and should be repealed.


Cultists On The Loose Aagin
another community
on Mar 27, 2020 at 3:43 pm
Cultists On The Loose Aagin, another community
on Mar 27, 2020 at 3:43 pm
23 people like this

@Joseph E. Davis (aka Jack Hickey) -- Wrong. Wrong. WRONG.

There is verifiable hoarding activity going on (whether motivated by panic or by some other reason), and it has NOTHING to do with the price of the goods in question.

And to assume that such activity would halt if the prices of such goods were to go up is simply obscene.

Remember, folks: Don't let you children grow up to be libertarians.


Patrick
Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Mar 28, 2020 at 9:25 am
Patrick, Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Mar 28, 2020 at 9:25 am
8 people like this

This is going on in Michigan too. Three weeks in a row I have not been able to get a week's supply of beans and grains. There is no excuse for grocers to allow this and they should be limiting these purchases like they do tp, sanitizer, etc. One thing this virus has demonstrated is that people are selfish morons who couldn't care less if someone else starves just so they can stock their basement, which they should've done before this event, not during it.


Supply and demand
Woodside: other
on Mar 31, 2020 at 1:47 pm
Supply and demand, Woodside: other
on Mar 31, 2020 at 1:47 pm
1 person likes this

No one ever mentions that if you are sheltering in place you are potentially doubling and maybe tripling the amount of food consumed at home...just a thought, but if stores were only ordering for what people typically buy, they would need to multiply that by 2 or even 3 for the other meals they would have eaten at the restaurants etc...and distributors would need to be prepared to truck that etc, this machine is not finger snap quick, it is going to take some time to ramp up. That would go for using a bathroom as well...more people, more trips to the throne. Maybe this is a sign of a pretty successful shelter in place, but only if you want to see the positive side of things. Just my two cents (probably only worth a penny now.)


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