Houston mayor Sylvester Turner, grocery execs talk stockpiling, social distancing


HOUSTON (KXAN) — Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner joined other city officials and grocery chain representatives for a press conference Monday morning.

Turner reassured people that grocery stores in the Houston area will remain open, adding that there’s no issue with the supply chain despite bare shelves at some stores.

Turner said that people should follow this advice: buy only what you need and be sensitive to the needs of others.

Representatives from H-E-B, Kroger and Randalls provided an update on water and food supplies, changes in store hours and plans to promote social distancing to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Scott McClelland, the president of H-E-B, showed off a plastic “sneeze guard” that will start to be installed at stores in the Houston area to create separation between employees and customers. He also told people, “There will be food. There’s no reason to stock up.”

Joe Kelley, the president of the Houston division of Kroger, said Kroger stores will operate only between the hours of 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. so that workers can do more cleaning and restock shelves. Christy Lara with Randalls also said there will be product limits and adjusted hours of operation.

The executives from the three grocery store chains said they all have job openings at the moment, so anyone looking for work should apply since demand for their services is so high right now.

Mayor Turner discussed panic buying and discouraged stockpiling groceries and supplies.

The press conference happened at Houston City Hall.

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