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Grocery Stores Taking Drastic Measures to Prevent Hoarding

Security guards are being hired by supermarket chains to patrol their aisles and prevent greedy shopping.
empty shelves

The coronavirus pandemic has brought out the best of humanity, and sadly, also some of the worst.

Images of empty grocery shelves and shoppers purchasing insane amounts of toilet paper have gone viral almost as quickly as COVID-19. Panicked shopping amid self-quarantining and social distancing has turned to unnecessary hoarding.

As a result, grocery stores are now taking fairly drastic measures to ensure that shelves aren't suddenly completely cleared out by a handful of selfish people.

CNN is reporting how a number of grocery store chains "are bringing on additional off-duty police officers and private security guards to help manage crowded aisles, long lines, and jammed parking lots during the coronavirus outbreak."

Amid scattered reports of fights breaking out in wine and toilet paper aisles, CNN reports:

ShopRite, Stop & Shop and Kroger (KR) are three major chains beefing up their security, according to the companies. Kroger has increased its off-duty police and uniformed presence in Columbus, Ohio, said a spokesperson for the city police department. Walmart (WMT) is using a mix of off-duty law enforcement and third-party security, a spokesperson said. "The big difference is that everything is at a much broader scale because it's all happening nationally."

A retail security consultant David Levenberg told CNN, "This is a natural reaction to some of the panic and frenzy we have been seeing. Supplies are limited and the more people think they need to hoard toilet paper, the more likely it is that things will get out of control."

"There needs to be some organization and a physical deterrent to aggressive behavior at these stores," Levenberg said.

Coronavirus has not just caused people to hoard toilet paper. The other most precious commodity right now is hand sanitizer. One Danish store got clever with their unique approach to limiting the sale of the precious antibacterial:

As the U.S.'s supply chain catches up with the sudden sharp spike in grocery sales, once barren shelves will return to their normal, natural state.  In the meantime, don't hoard products of any sort. Remember, we are all in this together!

READ MORE: Avoid These Fake "Coronavirus Cures," Says This Doctor

Eat This, Not That! is constantly monitoring the latest food news as it relates to COVID-19 in order to keep you healthy, safe, and informed (and answer your most urgent questions). Here are the precautions you should be taking at the grocery store, the foods you should have on hand, the meal delivery services and restaurant chains offering takeout you need to know about, and ways you can help support those in need. We will continue to update these as new information develops. Click here for all of our COVID-19 coverage, and sign up for our newsletter to stay up-to-date.
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