IMA Urges People Not To Hoard Supplies & Food During Shutdown

By Benjamin Cox on March 18, 2020 at 10:01am

Jacksonville Wal-Mart's toilet paper aisle last Thursday evening after customers had purchased every available package in the store.

Local retailers are combating people binge buying supplies in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the restaurant shutdown. Toilet paper, meat, milk, eggs, and other food supplies and toiletries have evaporated from shelves making it hard for stores to keep up on stocking shelves. Many retailers have limited store hours to cut down on contact of the virus as well as provide ample time for restocking. Wal-Mart and Hy-Vee have notably cut their hours due to these concerns.

Illinois Manufacturing Association President & CEO Mark Denzler says that people need to stop hoarding supplies because there’s enough to go around. “Understand that our food supply chain remains strong and robust in Illinois and across the nation. Customers, regardless of where they are in the state, will continue to have access to safe and nutritious food. There is no reason to hoard or stockpile food. Our manufacturers in the food supply sector are continuing to provide stores with updated food products.”

Denzler says that customers shouldn’t have to worry about price gouging because there are laws against it. He said to buy enough to support your family for about a week. “The best recommendation I can give is to buy a small reserve of shelf-stable food that can support you and your family for up to 5-7 days that way you can avoid multiple trips to the store. There’s no need to buy months of supplies because there’s going to be continuous supplies back to retailers. Certainly, we encourage individuals that if you are at the store to buy groceries and supplies for neighbors who are elderly or are at-risk and shouldn’t really go to the store.” Denzler also encourages residents to practice good hygiene and protection while out in the public.

Denzler says that paper boxes and food cannot transmit the virus either. Denzler says the state’s manufacturing sector has also taken appropriate steps to ensure that crucial food and other manufacturing continues throughout the state through extra sanitation, distancing of employees, and avoiding cutting workers’ hours while also telling those who are sick to stay home. Denzler said he has been pleased with the state level’s steady leadership so far and hopes that Governor Pritzker’s office continued updates of truthful information will stem the tide of panic buying and keep everyone informed of what’s going on to combat the spread of the virus.