March 11, 2020
Dear Jackson Whole Grocer Shoppers,
It is often the case, in difficult times, that grocery stores are a vital resource to the communities they serve. The recent outbreak of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) around the world and in the U.S. is proving that this continues to be true.
You have come to us in recent days to stock your pantry, replenish cleaning supplies, and prepare alongside others in the community. As a grocery store, we are in the unique position of offering essential services for our communities while also doing all we can to minimize risk to our staff and shoppers.
In light of the situation, I want to share the things our store is doing to best serve you, care for our staff, and be a responsible member of our community:
- While JWG has had no reported COVID-19 infections in our store, we have asked any staff exhibiting symptoms of respiratory illness or fever to stay home and notify their physician. We have also given our staff who have underlying medical conditions the option to stay home to minimize any potential exposure. We have a generous sick and vacation policy, and we are working with employees on a case-by-case basis to ensure they have the support they need.
- Shoppers have requested hand sanitizer and sanitized wipes to cleanse cart and hand basket handles. With the increased demand nationwide for these items, we are having difficulty procuring them for our stores. While we work to find a supplier, we are tasking staff with frequently cleaning these high-touch areas.
- Our store prides itself on its cleanliness and food safety standards. With the following guidance from the CDC and other agencies, we have implemented even more rigorous cleaning practices throughout our stores. This includes frequently sanitizing high-touch locations like payment machines, scales, bathroom areas and, as mentioned above, carts and hand baskets. We are also changing out hot and cold bar utensils on an hourly basis.
- We have stopped accepting personal cups at our Juice & Coffee Bar and have ceased self-serve sampling. Additionally, any staff handling ready-to-eat foods are already required to wear gloves or use tongs.
- We are working closely with our suppliers to ensure we have the essentials that you are seeking, like pantry staples, cleaning supplies, and health and body care items.
Throughout all of this, we are making additional efforts to demonstrate our gratitude to our staff who continue to work each day with commitment, compassion, and kindness to ensure our stores are stocked, clean, and ready to serve you.
We anticipate that guidance from federal, state and local agencies may change rapidly over the coming days and weeks. We will continue to monitor closely and be nimble in adjusting our operations to prioritize the health and safety of you and our staff.
I know you have many choices when it comes to where to purchase groceries. Thank you for choosing our store and for being an integral part of our community.
Jackson Whole Grocer