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Some shelves empty, but reinforcements coming to grocery stores

Empty shelves at grocery stores in Indianapolis

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Eating inside restaurants has been banned across Indiana, forcing more people to cook for themselves.

But even with a few missing items on grocery aisles, there’s no need to panic. There’s no food shortage.

People may just need to have a little bit of patience. You might not be able to get every single item on your shopping list. But more are coming and at Needler’s Fresh Market, food is coming every night.

For the last week, the customers have felt nonstop at Needler’s.

Angie Jarvis stocked up on Monday but came back Tuesday evening, after realizing she was still missing a few things.

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“We eat out a lot, so we wanted to make sure we had plenty of food for the two of us to eat,” Jarvis said.

Fellow shopper Kesha Rich was in luck. She came to Needler’s in search of toilet paper and paper towels and was able to purchase the latter.

“One of two and that’s great,” Rich said.

Toilet paper was the one thing missing Tuesday evening at Needler’s, even with the sign limiting customers to two packages. Though there were plenty of tissues, paper towels and napkins nearby.

While there wasn’t a lot of milk, there were plenty of alternative options like almond milk.

It was the same thing in the bread aisle, where there were some options but few traditional loaves to choose from.

There’s no shortage of water, though.

“Snowstorms we can prepare for; this type of shopping patterns we cannot prepare for,” said store manager Steve Nevitt.

Nevitt said it started picking up six days ago.

Monday was the busiest day yet, almost three times as busy as a typical Sunday, which is usually their busiest day.

Still, with all those customers, there’s plenty on the shelves.

That’s the message from produce manager Brian Metcalfe: Don’t panic.

If you’re missing an essential, “give it a day or two,” he said. “Right now I’m getting a truck every night. So that’s why we’re in pretty good shape right now.”

There’s been a few other changes at Needler’s. The salad bar line closed Tuesday night until further notice. Cashiers are cleaning between customers, and there’s extra cleaning going on in the aisles, so the empty shelves can actually help.

But customers like Rich and Jarvis don’t seem worried.

“I think over time it should just become a habit to cook at home every day,” said Rich.

“You don’t know if it’s an overreaction or not. I don’t know. It’s better to be safe than sorry, I suppose,” added Jarvis.

Several shoppers said they were stocking up not because they are worried groceries are going to run out, but so that they can make fewer trips out in public.

News 8 also reached out to Kroger. They wouldn’t let us inside, but a spokesman said they are gaining ground on shipments and getting better.

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