‘There’s no reason to panic buy’: Grocery stores prepare for Thanksgiving amid pandemic

Local Coronavirus Coverage

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN/WATE) — On the weekend before Thanksgiving, during a pandemic, grocery stores were full. But, one state agency explained the rise in COVID-19 cases shouldn’t impact how much food we buy.

This is the busiest time of year for grocery stores. As they prepare for their usual Thanksgiving crowds, they’re also still trying to catch up from the wave of panic buying in the spring.

Kroger issued a statement Sunday, encouraging customers to only buy what they need.

With the increase in COVID cases across the country on top of normal holiday business, stores are definitely seeing more traffic. We encourage consumers to buy just what they need for that shopping trip, as we will continue to get more in and back on the shelves.

Melissa Eads, Kroger

Customers outside of the Cedar Bluff Kroger said although the store was crowded, they were able to get most of what they needed.

Some shoppers reported there were items were out of stock, but Rob Ikard, President of the Tennessee Grocers and Convenient Stores Association, said this is normal and not indicative of a supply shortage.

“There is not a supply problem at all right now. People buying more than they need is only contributing to a problem that really shouldn’t exist today. There is product coming behind the product that’s just been bought off the shelves. Just maintain your regular shopping habits and we shouldn’t have a problem.” Ikard said.

As the cases rise, Ikard said it’s important for people to just buy what they need. This helps make sure everybody can get the supplies they need and stores have enough time to restock the shelves.

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