The Shafter Press - Serving the community since 1922

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By Jamie Stewart
The Shafter Press 

Stores run out of staples


Last updated 3/19/2020 at 5:58pm | View PDF

Jamie Stewart | The Shafter Press

Residents bought out the bread section, leaving the aisles empty at Apple Market, but the store was working to get another delivery.

Consumers in Shafter have made it difficult to find staples that are normally readily available. With the residents' growing concern over the COVID-19 pandemic, local stores are working to keep shelves stocked.

A trip to Apple Market found no regular bread on the shelves, leaving only some packages of buns and rolls. It was the same result in the aisles containing cases of water. There were no cases of water left, just a very few single bottles available.

One customer, Maria Milaga, said she could not believe the reaction of the public to the situation. "I think everyone is going crazy over this. I couldn't even find anything I needed for my house." She added that she had been to several stores in Bakersfield, too, with the same luck. "Everyone is out of water, toilet paper, bread – stuff that we didn't even worry about before."

There has also been increased business at the area's gas stations, as residents fill up to be safe. Greg Hilado, who was filling up at Big Stop, said, "I'm not panicking or anything, but it doesn't hurt to be prepared because you never know."

Lovedeep Joshan, of Big Stop, said on Tuesday, "We have seen more business in the last few days, and we are having trouble getting stocked because the vendors are running low on products."

Residents are loading up on canned goods and staples such as bread, toilet paper, water and cleaners. Many people are concerned they will end up quarantined in their house, with no means to get to groceries or gasoline.

Jamie Stewart | The Shafter Press

The Wasco Walmart store had no water on the shelves, a growing trend in stores throughout Wasco, Shafter and the rest of Kern County.

The stores in Shafter seem to have been able to replenish product to their shelves at a higher rate than their counterparts in Bakersfield. One reason for this, according to Apple Market Manager Carlos Obaid, is that the store has a contract with certain companies such as Crystal Geyser Water, which allows them to deal with the company directly, alleviating the need to go through a vendor. "We really care about our community and are doing everything we can to take care of their needs. I wish we could say that we would never run out of anything, but we will do our best to fulfill our customers' needs."

When asked if the store will be utilizing the growing policy in Bakersfield stores of limiting the number of customers that can be in their stores at one time, Obaid said they are not doing that.

"Our doors are open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week," said Obaid. "We will not keep our customers waiting in a line outside. We will stay open and take care of our customers the best we can. We are working hard to serve this community which has been so good to us."


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