Garcetti Highlights Uninterrupted Food Supply

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Mayor Eric Garcetti held a press conference with grocery executives.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on March 16 joined grocery executives at a regional food distribution center, where they discussed the reliable supply chain of food and how grocery stores will continue to be stocked as normal.

“This health crisis is a moment for preparation, not panic,” said Garcetti. “There’s no shortage of supplies at our grocery stores and no reason to over-buy. Angelenos should shop responsibly and safely, and do not need to stockpile food.”

On March 15, Garcetti issued an emergency order to strengthen the city’s response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), placing temporary restrictions on restaurants, bars, and other establishments in Los Angeles. The order includes temporary closure of bars and nightclubs that do not serve food, movie theaters and entertainment venues, bowling alleys and arcades, and gyms and fitness centers.

Restaurants, bars and retail food facilities may not serve food for consumption on their premises but may continue to offer food for delivery, takeout, or drive-thru.

At an Albertsons in Gardena over the weekend, toilet paper and hand sanitizer were gone, but most food products were available. Some of the frozen food shelves were empty. (J.K. YAMAMOTO/Rafu Shimpo)

Grocery stores are exempt from the order. As part of the directive, Garcetti also announced trucks and other vehicles engaged in the delivery of grocery items to stores are exempt from nightly curfews — a measure that will help ensure stores remain well-stocked.

Representatives from the grocery industry included:

Rob McDougall, president/CEO, Gelson’s;

Oscar Gonzalez, co-president/COO, Northgate Gonzalez Market;

Kendra Doyel, vice president-merchandising, Ralph’s;

Bryan Kaltenbach, president, Food 4 Less;

Melissa Hill, director of community relations and government affairs, Albertsons.

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