News

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 days 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.

“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.

What's local journalism worth to you?

Support Mountain View Online for as little as $5/month.

Learn more

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.

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox.

Sign up

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 said 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.

Follow MV-Voice.com and the Mountain View Voice on Twitter @mvvoice and Facebook for breaking news, local events, photos, videos and more.

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: Tue, Mar 31, 2020, 10:04 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 days 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.

“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 said 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

gretchen
Monta Loma
on Mar 31, 2020 at 2:25 pm
gretchen, Monta Loma
on Mar 31, 2020 at 2:25 pm
9 people like this

There may be plenty of goods but no way of getting them. As a solo very senior I have been trying for 4 days to do a pick up or a delivery with three different services. No luck. Very frustrating.


Concerned
Old Mountain View
on Mar 31, 2020 at 2:53 pm
Concerned, Old Mountain View
on Mar 31, 2020 at 2:53 pm
30 people like this

Hi Gretchen, I am sorry you had that experience. If you need food or supplies, please reach out to JFCS at 415-449-1200. We are delivering meals, groceries, and supplies to isolated seniors and those with disabilities.


SAMA
Cuesta Park
on Mar 31, 2020 at 3:54 pm
SAMA, Cuesta Park
on Mar 31, 2020 at 3:54 pm
18 people like this

It may not be really hoarding. People are complying with "Shelter in Place" order and are trying to minimize the number of times they go to the store. They go fewer times, but buy more each time they go. So "hoarding" may be just an optical illusion. I have not been to the store for 2 weeks now. Need to go out soon to restock.


WhismanDave
Slater
on Mar 31, 2020 at 3:58 pm
WhismanDave, Slater
on Mar 31, 2020 at 3:58 pm
14 people like this

The problem is that if someone comes down with COVID, they and everyone in their household need to self-isolate for at least two weeks, perhaps more. That means not going out for anything, including groceries.

Given how delivery services have been overwhelmed, I don't see how one can avoid having at least two weeks of extra food on hand at all times.


MVresident
Monta Loma
on Apr 1, 2020 at 8:35 am
MVresident, Monta Loma
on Apr 1, 2020 at 8:35 am
4 people like this

I've decided that it doesn't matter what the reason - hoarding, problems with distribution, a shortage. Too many times I've gone to the grocery store for the staples that I need for one week, and the shelves were bare. Nothing. My cats make out like bandits, i.e., no problem with their food and supplies.

This last trip to the grocery store was so unsettling that the panic set in. I alway wondered what would happen if we entered into a crisis and food became hard to come by, what would I worry and/or panic about first? As a single person, my first worry is for my animals. And I am now worried and I will stock up on food and supplies for them for 2 months.

As for me, I'll make do with what I find. And I am fine with that.


LMC
Monta Loma
on Apr 1, 2020 at 1:44 pm
LMC, Monta Loma
on Apr 1, 2020 at 1:44 pm
8 people like this

I'm disappointed by this article, which promotes judgmental attitude toward others. When you see someone with a full cart, you have NO IDEA what their situation is. I have two teenagers at home 24/7, including one with very specific dietary needs for a medical condition, so yes, I am buying a lot to be sure I have what they need. Besides that, fewer trips to the grocery store equals less exposure to the virus, so stocking up for multiple weeks at a time simply is safer for everyone.


Old Mountain View
Old Mountain View
on Apr 1, 2020 at 2:44 pm
Old Mountain View, Old Mountain View
on Apr 1, 2020 at 2:44 pm
6 people like this

Wait? They have 2 months to see if the hoarding stops? This is why we say our government doesn't work.

They should have 24 hours to fix the problem, else pass a town ordinance with some fair limits.

No reason to let people checkout with excessive amounts of basic supplies. If you have a big family you may have to make a second trip but that's a fair tradeoff to avoid hoarding. We don't make a special allowance for people with dirty hands to buy extra hand sanitizer.

We have to make sure people share what's on the shelves. If you can't buy more than 4 or 8 rolls of toilet paper per day, so be it.

Seniors and others are showing up at these stores and finding nothing. People are so selfish.


indefensible rhetoric
Blossom Valley
on Apr 1, 2020 at 2:51 pm
indefensible rhetoric, Blossom Valley
on Apr 1, 2020 at 2:51 pm
22 people like this

"Seniors and others are showing up at these stores and finding nothing."
[Portion removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]


Been to two stores this week. Found plenty, including a 30 pack of the infamous "tp".

No need to 'hoard', no need to fret about it.

Take the energy wasted and use it to call politicians about the lack of testing.


resident
Old Mountain View
on Apr 2, 2020 at 8:47 am
resident, Old Mountain View
on Apr 2, 2020 at 8:47 am
11 people like this

Where are the hoarders storing all their hoard? I can't believe hoarders are continuing to hoard weeks into the shutdown. More likely, people are at home all day long and cooking 3 times as often as they used to. That requires them buying 3 times as much groceries as they used to. What happened to all the raw food that (now closed) restaurants used to buy? Can that be redirected to grocery stores for household use?


indefensible rhetoric
Blossom Valley
on Apr 2, 2020 at 9:10 am
indefensible rhetoric, Blossom Valley
on Apr 2, 2020 at 9:10 am
3 people like this

> Where are the hoarders storing all their hoard?

C'mon guys, have you been to stores this week?I saw plenty.

What stores (this week!!) are you talking about?

> More likely, people are at home all day long and cooking 3 times

yes

> Can that be redirected to grocery stores for household use?

No. That went to food banks last week or the week before and is consumed.

Brokers have redirected their 'commercial' stream to retailers by now.


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

To post your comment, please login or register at the top of the page. This topic is only for those who have signed up to participate by providing their email address and establishing a screen name.