Stop Hoarding

You see, my mom and I have this routine. She goes shopping to name-brand stores like Gelson’s, Trader Joe’s and Ralph’s and then I fill in the holes by going to Target. Because Target is the place to be. I can shop for snacks and clothing all in one trip. That has always been our routine.

We did that routine the weekend of March 7 and 8 with no issue at all. Yes, there were the people who were taking more than two packages of toilet paper. But it was not extreme. This was before a limit even existed on the number of toilet paper rolls you could get.

Along with that, on March 10, my stats group and I ventured out to Trader Joe’s to watch people get samples. The day was very normal. Mothers with their children, families and elderly couples were all taking one of each item and the shelves were fully stocked. Normal.

Then, of course, the dreaded happened. My dad ran out of his spicy nuts so I was forced on a Thursday night to get those at Trader Joe’s and, woah, I thought the zombies were on their way. People were stocking up. This was no longer “get your salad for the week.” This was “get your salads for the next 3 weeks.”

Out of nowhere, people were hoarding the basic essentials and people who were not panic-buying resorted to panic-buying to just get their groceries for the next week. It was crazy. It seems people may not understand the ramifications of this.

This is not the time to be every man for himself. This is the time to be united and take the normal amount of salad. The grocery stores are not going to close. They are still open in the United States, the current epicenter of the outbreak.

The other problem is people are stocking up on brands that are labeled WIC. These brands are part of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, otherwise known as SNAP for women, children and infants. Women and children who fit certain requirements are given a set amount of money from the government to buy brands that are labeled WIC on the price tag to get their nutritious meal of the day. Their money from the government does not allow them to buy other brands that are not labeled with as such; therefore, if people who aren’t part of the program are hoarding those brands, SNAP mothers leave stores empty-handed.

This is just some food for thought. No pun intended. But this world can not turn into every man for himself or herself because there are people who depend on specific things. Taking all of the Lucky Charms at the store is gonna make you happy for ten weeks, longer than the quarantine time, but a little boy cries every day since he can not have his comfort cereal. Grabbing all 12 packs of toilet paper is more than enough for three weeks and now because you took all that, there is an elderly couple who ran out of toilet paper and might have to put themselves in mortal danger just to fulfill a basic need.

If a product is quantity-limited for two, please do not split up your family with different carts to get more than the limited amount.

While kindness is not something we can pick up at the grocery, nor compassion, it is not in rationed amounts at this time. However, it is something that panic-shoppers forgot at the door of all grocery stores.