Panic buying for winter storm leaves store shelves bare

ENGLEWOOD — Some Miami Valley residents took advantage of the mild weather on Tuesday and went to the grocery store to stock up before the winter storm hits.

At the Meijer and Kroger in Englewood, shoppers told News Center 7′s Haley Kosik that it was like a zoo inside as customers panic shopped.

“They’re crowding in the aisles, they’re running over you,” Angela Gauvey said. “[They’re] scared to death you’re going to get something they can’t get.”

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Gauvey, of Arcanum, said she wanted to make sure she got her Twinkies.

“And if anyone knows me, they’ll know that it was the Twinkies that I ran out for,” Gauvey said.

While her Twinkies were in stock, items such as fruits, vegetables, bottled water, bread and paper towels were harder to come by.

Even the demand for cat food has been extremely high as manufacturers said they have faced product delays.

Katrina Gibson, of Arcanum, said the timing of this storm and the panic buying was impacting many who can only get to the store once a month.

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“It’s the beginning of the month, so you have people coming in to hoard stuff, while your people who are on social security [are] coming to the grocery stores for the first time in a month, and they can’t get their essentials either that they desperately need,” Gibson said.

Panic buying has led shelves to be continuously empty not just ahead of the storm, but through the pandemic.

Some shoppers have had luck finding items at smaller and local stores, but as one local grocery store owner said, there have still been challenges.

“It had been [a challenge] just keeping up with the demand of people coming in and purchasing off the shelf when we’re back-stocked,” David Chasteen, West Milton IGA owner, said.

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