CHICAGO – The Independent Grocers Alliance (IGA) wrote a letter to consumers on March 23 addressing the largest consumer concerns amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and asked shoppers to stay calm. 

IGA pointed to the latest US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) information confirming that there is still no evidence to support the transmission of COVID-19 through food or food packaging, that low stocks reflect demand and not supply — there are no food shortages in the US, and that the FDA is continuously monitoring the food supply chain and assuring that workers can get to and from their jobs despite travel restrictions. 

“The facts are on your side: there are the same number of mouths to feed (and bottoms to, uh, care for) today as there were a month ago,” said John Ross, IGA president and chief executive officer. “The same number of produce farmers, dairies, ranchers, canned good producers, and consumer package goods companies today as a month ago. There is plenty of food in our country.” 

Ross highlighted that the US can get food sent from almost any part of the world to any part of the country in need. Overbuying is creating the unnatural out-of-stocks many stores are experiencing since while there is plenty of supply, most stores receive one truckload of supplies each day. Ross asked consumers to only buy what they normally would during a normal shopping trip to relieve the system. 

“In this uncertain time, please know that your local IGA is working to keep you safe with extra precautions around cleaning and sanitation, working to satisfy demand, and helping you prepare no matter what the future brings,” Ross said.