LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Most grocery stores aren’t worried about food shortages this holiday season, but they are worried about crowded lines of last-minute shoppers.
November and December are traditionally two of the busiest months for the grocery industry. To help keep shoppers and essential workers safe during the holiday season, stores are asking customers to plan ahead and beat the rush.
Collean Taylor-Brennan was out Thursday night getting some of her shopping done early. She said she is starting her holiday grocery shopping earlier than usual to budget her money and limit her exposure to other people.
She said she’s collecting her ingredients over time, because a long line of last-minute shoppers poses a serious threat to her health.
“I’m not supposed to be out too much because I had breast cancer last year,” she said. “So, I had radiation, and I’m also over 60.”
Ron Fong, president and CEO of the California Grocers Association, said supermarkets are well-prepared for holiday shoppers.
“The trick now is to try and keep our capacity in the grocery stores to a minimum,” he said. “The supply should be plentiful. There is no need to overbuy or to hoard.”
To prevent the spread of COVID-19, Fong said people should buy non-perishables ahead of time, consider visiting stores during non-peak hours, utilize online shopping, and avoid stores the few days before Thanksgiving altogether if possible.
Daisy Rodriguez said that’s no problem for her family.
“We’re going to do a virtual Thanksgiving,” she said.
Jessica Blue and Kelly Thompson said their families are taking precautions seriously this year. Both are considering small, outdoor dinners.
“My mom typically cooks a turkey, and she’s thinking about getting it already pre-cooked,” Blue said.
Thompson said her family is still weighing whether any gathering at all is safe.
“We’re kind of deciding if we want to go see my grandma, like sit outside with her,” she said. “We’re pretty nervous about it.”