March 13, 2020
Grocery stores in the Philadelphia region are imposing buying limits on select items as coronavirus-related restrictions cause a surge in demand.
Newly-enacted measures aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19 resulted in long lines at Philadelphia grocery stores on Thursday. But in some cases, there was little to purchase.
Stores like Acme, Giant, ShopRite and Fresh Grocer scrambled to keep up with the so-called "panic-buying" as thousands of people grabbed much more than hand sanitizer and toilet paper. Reports of empty soup and pasta shelves came as residents bought non-perishable items in bulk.
Some grocers, including Giant, are now warning customers of shortages.
"We are closely monitoring our inventory and working diligently with our suppliers to keep high-demand products in stock, such as hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, paper towels, toilet tissue, bleach and other cleaning products," the supermarket's update reads. "In some cases, these products are in limited supply across the U.S. As soon as the products become available, we are moving quickly to re-stock our store shelves."
"Due to high demand, quantities of select products will be 'limit 4' per category," Fresh Grocer announced. "Limits will be applied upon pickup or delivery of your order. Substitutions on select products may not be available."
Many workers in the Philadelphia region have been encouraged to work from home and practice social distancing. School closings in Montgomery County and Philadelphia added to that number while also increasing the number of children eating lunches at home.
In Montgomery County, where there are 13 coronavirus cases, all community centers, gyms and entertainment venues have been temporarily closed.
NBC10 reported that "tens of millions" of people worldwide are staying home Friday.
To prepare for extended home stays, thousands of residents headed to the grocery stores on Thursday. But when they got there, they found a very different environment from what they usually experience.
Many residents took to Twitter to share their experiences and communicate store shortages .
Global warming seems to have killed winter in Philly. But if you miss the vibe of a grocery store right before a big snow storm, I recommend a visit to Trader Joes right now.— Ben Waxman (@bwaxman) March 12, 2020
Would like to report that South Philly just has much less pasta than usual on the grocery store shelves.— Amy D 🌈🌈 (@amydipa) March 11, 2020
We walked into Acme (grocery store) and security said “good luck finding groceries” pic.twitter.com/E56k9M52QS— ED4P (@midwest2philly) March 12, 2020