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Local grocery stores manage supply, demand during crisis

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PLEASANT HILL, Calif. (KRON) — Grocery stores are among the most trafficked businesses during the pandemic.

And lately, some shoppers have noticed what appears to be a dwindling supply of meat and produce at some shops.​

But the FDA says not to worry — there are no nationwide shortages of food.

KRON4’s Philippe Djegal spoke with a grocer in Pleasant Hill who agrees.

“We are just getting the day started,” Jason Olson said. “We just opened the doors to our customers.”​​

Jason Olson says what you’ll see around the store now will look pretty much the same as it did pre-pandemic.​

Olson and his wife Kathy co-own the Grocery Outlet on Contra Costa Boulevard in Pleasant Hill.​

On Facebook Live Friday morning, shortly after produce shelves were stocked, he said he anticipates this to be the norm moving forward.​

“This is the foundation that we build upon. So all the dry tables, tomatoes and onions and potatoes and avocados, you can see, not full and beautiful, right — not picture perfect,” he said. “But, that’s good because if we look through the backdoor here, you can see, we have a full produce load that just got dropped off. So, all that product will be worked out here throughout the day.”​

Olson said his store has recovered from the high demand experienced five weeks ago when panic buying led to bare shelves.​

He says deliveries are made daily and the meat supply is also nearly full.​

“This load just came in,” Olson said. “So, this will get all replenished and built back up, and then we’ll be 100-percent there.”​

A far cry from what some shoppers are seeing at various Safeway stores where produce and meat are becoming harder to find.​

But that may be connected to a novel coronavirus outbreak at the grocery chain’s distribution center in Tracy.​

The facility is short staffed because at least 51 associates there have tested positive for the virus.​

On Monday, one employee died.​

Nationwide though, Frank Yiannas, the deputy commissioner off food policy and response for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said the shortages some of us are seeing in stores are “temporary because of unprecedented consumer demand, not a lack of the food system’s ability to produce, process and deliver food.​”

He said there’s no need to buy more food than you need for a week or two for your family and pets and leave some for others.​

Local food banks say they too have a healthy supply of food for the people depending on their service.​

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