Food City hires 1,200 people in one week to meet demand

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) — Food City hired 1,200 people in one week to help meet extreme high demand at their grocery stores. CEO Steve Smith said they're looking to hire 1,300 more.

The jobs were added at 130 of their stores in Kentucky, Virginia, Tennessee and Georgia. They also added 76 jobs at their distribution center in Abingdon, Virginia.

"The safety of our valued customers and dedicated team of associates continues to be our top priority," Smith said.

He said additional measures have been taken inside the stores to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Smith encouraged customers to use Go Cart, where store associates shop for you, or delivery options.

Store hours were also adjusted to 7 a.m.-10 p.m. to give associates extra time to clean, sanitize and restock.

Customers over the age of 65 or most at risk are encouraged to shop from 7 -8 a.m. every day.

Smith also announced 3 million dollars in bonuses going to Food City employees.

He urged customers to stop hoarding groceries to allow the supply chain to catch back up. Consumers were told they should continue their weekly shopping trips and replenish personal supplies on a weekly basis.

“Being concerned about the possibility of shortages, it’s only natural, it’s human nature,” Smith said. “Responding to that fear with panic buying is ironically the leading contributor to these shortages.”

"We ask that they (customers) please bare with us, as we work to meet the demands of all the communities we serve."

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