Middle Tennessee grocery stores struggle to keep shelves stocked during winter storm

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Grocery stores across Middle Tennessee got hit from all fronts this past week as they tried to keep doors open and shelves stocked during the winter storm.

Grocery stores like Kroger and Publix adjusted their hours, closing early in order to get staff safely home during the worst of the ice and snow. However, several staff members still could not safely get into work for the shifts.

News 2 visited several grocery stores in Nashville throughout the week and consistently found packed parking lots, lines wrapped around isles, and emptying shelves.

When the roads started icing on Sunday, people began stocking up on essential groceries. It continued through the week for those that did not have enough food. Many were walking or hitching rides from neighbors with trucks in order to get groceries.

Kroger’s Middle Tennessee Corporate Affairs Manager, Melissa Eads, tells News 2 it became a challenge to goods because delivery trucks couldn’t drive in during the storm.

“I think as soon as we started restocking on…. Tuesday night and then everybody on Wednesday was back out again because we knew that second round was coming, so we recovered, and it got crazy again,” Eads explained.

Lines at Kroger in Nashboro Village Tuesday afternoon.

Many of these grocery store staff members are frontline workers, who have been working nonstop throughout the pandemic.

Eads said several managers even stayed in hotels near their stores in order to ensure they could open during the storm.

Kroger and Publix say they are doing everything they can to keep food on the shelves, and expect things to return to normal by the end of the weekend as more delivery trucks can make it into cities.

“There may be situations in some stores where we still haven’t recovered or maybe we recovered this morning and it all sold out again,” Eads said, “So it’s gonna just vary by store, but just know as we start to go through Saturday and then by Sunday for sure, we should start to see everything stabilize. There’s obviously no shortage of anything, it’s just a matter of truly getting it to the store and then having staff to get it worked.”

Items hard to find Friday included bread, milk, and eggs.

Bare shelves at Kroger in Nashboro Village Tuesday afternoon.

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