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As power starts to flicker on, grocery stores stress over trying to fill shelves

Published: Sep. 9, 2021 at 10:42 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) -For many in the New Orleans area, with the power starting to flicker on, it’s time to fill some empty iceboxes.

“I got everything in my little buggy so I’m going now to get my ice cream and then I’ll be checking out,” said Jeanett Jenkins.

“I said hey what time does rouses close they say 5 o’clock I stopped what I was doing and came out here to pick up a few things,” said Rod Simmons.

Greeted with either short lines or empty shelves though is just another exercise in patience.

“Hurry up and wait I’m used to that that’s not a problem just got to ‘woosa’,” said Simmons.

“I’ll come back tomorrow to see if they fill them and then I’ll get the other little things I couldn’t get today,” said Jenkins.

“We’ve been getting anything we can get our hands-on,” said Rouse’s Marketing Director, Tim Acosta.

A few days after the storm, Rouse’s marketing director, Tim Acosta says it was challenging to get trucks to deliver food.

Acosta says now they’ve arranged so trucks can bypass distribution centers and bring all that food directly to the stores.

“Everyone’s restocking and that’s a big demand for groceries; we have product coming in every day and are encouraging folks not to buy everything on the shelf just get you a gallon of milk or a little for bread bags of ice and water and save some for friends and neighbors,” said Acosta.

As their workers though are also shoring up damaged homes and roofs themselves, Acosta says the shorter store hours are to accommodate staffing levels.

And for needs where the shelves are still empty, Acosta says a partnership with the Salvation Army helps bridge that gap.

“As of today we served over 1000 meals in the greater New Orleans area as well as 70,000 bottles of water and other drinks… we can help stand in the gap for the people here right now in New Orleans so they’re able to have food water as well as other types of emotional support,” said Major Chris Thornhill, Area Commander for Greater New Orleans.

It’s also an exercise in gratitude for many as some families are still without power and without a home.

“I just think about our brothers and sisters further to the west and south of us and pretty much lost everything,” said Simmons.

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