During a shutdown or shelter at home, grocery stores and pharmacies are deemed essential services anywhere in the world. While there have been a lot of conversations about healthcare workers, grocery workers are not in people’s radar. Some facts:
- The top 5 grocery chains in the country have over 20,000 stores and employ millions of workers who touch your grocery
- From the distribution center workers to store employees who stock the food to clerk who helps you checkout, your food is carefully handled
- Just because you use delivery services like Instacart or Shipt, to avoid going into the store but, the personal shoppers are picking up the same groceries
- Average grocery worker earns a little more than minimum wage
- They are not trained to wear personal protective equipment
There have been a number of bonuses and perks offered by grocery chains as a token of appreciation but, the biggest help is to avoid making them sick. These workers earn a little more than minimum wages, work overtime to make ends meet and last thing they want is to fall sick and make their family sick.
We need to feed ourselves and they are part of our food ecosystem. From the unseen consumer packaged goods (CPG) to farmers and bakers to people we interact, let us say thank you.
We need to give a big shout for these grocery workers and if you feel generous, pay forward a bag of groceries for their families or take a pizza to them.
More importantly, practice social distancing when you are in the store and stop hoarding. The more we clear the shelves to over stock our home pantry, the more you are putting these workers at risk. Perishables do perish and charmin will still make toilet paper.