A supermarket is struggling with “unpreviously unprecedented” demand for food, with customers increasingly finding themselves out of stock of staples like pasta, pasta sauces and bread.
The Herald Sun has reported on the food bank’s “unusual” surge in the last 24 hours, which is causing it to temporarily shut down some services to make room for more customers.
The supermarket, in Melbourne’s east, said its staff were overwhelmed with “a surge of demand” and that the foodbank was “in desperate need of food”.
“As our supply of food has become very limited, we are trying to provide a wide variety of items to customers who have been searching for something for their families,” a spokesman said.
“We have not had the opportunity to use this additional stock for the last three days and we have not been able to get more of it for customers.”
The food bank has limited capacity, and we are currently unable to provide the full range of food that we can for our customers.
“The spokesman said the supermarket was currently “fully operational” but that “we are also running limited operations” for “family members and friends”.”
We are also taking the opportunity of this crisis to re-think our existing food distribution model and will re-examine our strategy, which has resulted in this increase in demand for our products,” he said.
The spokeswoman added that the supermarket would work to provide “a full range” of groceries to “customers who need them most”.
He said the “unanticipated” increase in food prices would be “immediately addressed” by the supermarket.”
If we do not have enough stock to meet demand, we will be temporarily closed, which will mean that our customers will need to travel from their local supermarket to a food bank in the nearby area,” he added.
A number of people were queuing up for food on Friday at the supermarket, but the spokesman said customers could find the supermarket had a limited number of food products available for sale.”
With our limited stock of food, we need to make sure that our stores can continue to stock products that we believe our customers would find very appealing, and which they are interested in,” he wrote.”
To make sure we do this, we have been offering a limited selection of products to our customers at no additional cost.
“Mr Turnbull said he was “extremely concerned” about the situation.”
I have asked the Department of Human Services to immediately provide us with more than just an estimate of the demand that has resulted from the food emergency and the fact that we are not in a position to do that,” he told reporters.”
It’s time to act now and get back to business.
“The food emergency began when supermarket customers found they could no longer purchase their favourite staples from the supermarket and were unable to find other foods that were in stock.
The Food and Groceries Commission (FGRC) has estimated that the number of hungry customers has increased by over a third since last Thursday, with more stores being forced to close.
More: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has also urged retailers to limit the number and size of food packages being sold to shoppers.
It is the second food emergency in a month, following the closure of Melbourne’s first food store on January 6.