Community thanks grocery store employees for being on the front lines during COVID-19 pandemic

The fight against the coronavirus pandemic is taking place in hospitals, in homes, and without a doubt, in packed grocery stores too. It means grocery store employees may not be doctors or nurses, but during these difficult times, they’re most definitely essential.

“They’re like first responders,” shopper Regina Coates said Wednesday. “You know, they’re here catering to our needs so we can have food and stuff like that.”

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And at the Petworth Safeway in Northwest D.C., they’re working around the clock – checking people out behind Plexiglas, staying socially distant, and disinfecting everything all the time. It’s something Store Director Marlene Bland said her staff takes real pride in, especially during such a tough time.

“They’re happy to be able to service the community. They’re happy to be able to say that they’re essential and they’re able to help our community,” Bland said.

The community has noticed. Signs have been posted at Safeway’s all over the region, saying things like “thank you,” “we need you,” and “we’ll get through this together.”

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“I live right across the street from here, and I am extremely thankful for our grocery store workers who are out here during this time,” shopper Jeremy Lowery said. “Grocery store workers are heroes. They’re heroes in our community.”

Bland – and so many others – agree.

“They work hard, long shifts, no complaining. They’re really really doing a good job,” she said. “They are heroes.”