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Grocery Stores encourage Customers to choose Preparedness over Panic

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After the news of event cancellations, Declarations of Disaster in Montgomery County and Conroe, and fear of the Coronavirus, many have flocked to local grocery stores in Montgomery County and across the Houston area.

On Friday, March 13, grocery stores and food retailers including H-E-B and Kroger have made public statements encouraging customers to choose preparedness over panic.

H-E-B made the following public statement on social media:

H-E-B has been preparing for coronavirus and we are in a strong position to keep replenishing our shelves. Customers should not panic, as we are continuing to restock shelves around-the-clock. We are encouraging preparedness, not stockpiling – please buy what you need and leave some for your neighbor behind you. We are in this as a community and it’s important to keep calm. H-E-B Partners are ready to help. #SlowtheSpreadTexas

H-E-B

H-E-B also has made updates on their website, stating, “our top priority is taking care of Texas. While the emergence of the coronavirus (COVID-19) is an evolving situation with many unknowns, we are sure of one thing: We will do our part to help our fellow Texans prepare. As a state, we can help slow the spread of the virus by working together. H-E-B is prepared to help our fellow Texans in any situation our company and communities might face.”

H-E-B shared how they are working to protect their partners and communities, providing products and access to everyone, ensuring a safe shopping experience, and working to protect Texas here.

In a press release, Kroger is encouraging customers to choose preparedness over panic. The retailer ensures that they are working around-the-clock to keep store shelves full but also wants shoppers to consider others who will come behind them.

We want Houstonians to know that we’re here for our customers and communities when they need us most, with open stores and openhearted hospitality. That’s why our teams are working so hard to keep our stores clean, open and stocked,” says Joe Kelley, Kroger Houston division president. “We’d like to take this opportunity to also remind our customers that we are all in this together and to please take into consideration the needs of their fellow Houstonians.

Kroger

Kroger activated a preparedness plan several weeks ago and is continuing to monitor the rapidly evolving situation while following guidance from federal, state and local agencies, including the CDC and other health organizations.

Kroger also shared the following steps they are taking to protect customers and associates:

In Kroger Stores 

  • Cleaning commonly used areas more often, including cashier stations, self-checkouts, credit card terminals, conveyor belts and food service counters, and cleaning shelves when restocking products.
  • Sanitizing restrooms more frequently and restocking with supplies, including soap, paper towels and hand sanitizer.
  • Adding extra hand sanitizer at cashier stations, food service counters, and all Pharmacy, The Little Clinic and Starbucks locations.
  • Wiping down shopping carts, baskets and equipment. 
  • Partnering with our suppliers to replenish high-demand preparedness products.
  • Continuing to provide our customers with free disinfectant wipes at our store entrances to sanitize their shopping carts or baskets.
  • Following best practices for safe food handling, as always. 

For Kroger Associates 

  • Encouraging our associates to closely monitor their health and well-being.
  • Providing hand sanitizer and tissues in breakrooms and meeting rooms.
  • Asking our associates to stay home if they, or someone in their household, are sick. 
  • Providing financial support from our Helping Hands fund – a company-sponsored employee assistance fund – to associates who may be directly affected.
  • Suspending business air travel for associates through March 31, 2020 and recommending virtual meetings. 

For Our Customers 

  • Encouraging our customers to follow the CDC’s suggested hygiene practices to reduce the spread of the virus.
  • Recommending that our customers also practice safe food handling at home. 

For additional information and updates on Coronavirus (COVID-19), please visit the CDC’s website at www.cdc.gov or the Texas Department of State Health Services at www.dshs.texas.gov

Sources: H-E-B, Kroger

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