Virus creates empty grocery store shelves

Greg Adams, owner of the Piggly Wiggly on Horner Boulevard, asks shopper, Erin Poe, to be patient and the order for more toilet paper, paper towels and other supplies have been ordered. He said what he has on the shelves is all they could give to him from a recent delivery.

Because of the impact of COVID-19, grocery stores in Sanford and Lee County have been overrun with shoppers who’ve picked the shelves clean.

Greg Adams, who’s owned Piggly Wiggly on South Horner Boulevard for 19 years, said items like paper towels, bleach and cleaning supplies have been hard to come by.

“I tried to order over 150 cases of toilet paper, but we only got three cases in because of the shortage,” he said.

Adams said he’s had to limit the number of much-sought-after items people can purchase at one time to cut down on the shelf clearing.

“Last Thursday through Sunday people went crazy trying to hoard stuff,” he said. “ It depleted everybody’s inventory.”

The store is open daily from 7 a.m.-11 p.m.

Kelly Davis, marketing director for Lowes Foods, said the stores are open for business, though they’ve adjusted their hours of operation.

“We have changed our hours to 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.,” she said. “We’re restricting the hours because it gives us more time to stock and clean.”

The store’s beer den, where customers can drink beer and wine in the store, has been closed, but growlers of craft beer will still be filled, she said.

Aldi Foods on South Horner Boulevard has also changed its hours to 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday thru Saturday and 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sunday. The change is to allow time to restock shelves and clean.

For the same reason, Walmart has also changed its hours. They are now open from 7 a.m.-8:30 p.m.

Food Lion, which has several locations in Lee County, is open every day from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Save-A-Lot on South Horner Boulevard is open from 8 a.m.-9 p.m., Monday-Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday.

Lidl on South Horner Boulevard is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Reach Reporter David Pollard at 919-718-1229.

Reach Reporter David Pollard at 919-718-1229.