BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — People are rushing to grocery stores across Western New York, now that most stores are open again — and it’s leaving shelves bare.
Workers are trying to keep up with the demand, but items like deli meats, cheeses, and even baby formula are hard to find right now.
News 4 stopped by the Tops Friendly Markets location on Elmwood Avenue Wednesday, and workers were restocking the shelves, trying to make sure items like lunch meats and bread were there. But a lot of shelves remained empty.
At the Tops on South Park Avenue in South Buffalo, they were running low or completely out of certain types of baby formula.
One dad said he had already been to three different grocery stores Wednesday, looking for Pediasure for his daughter, and could not find what he needed.
“I’m just trying to find Pediasure for my daughter here and they don’t have any. Pretty much no store I’ve been to has any. Everybody’s out,” James Boisvert said. “Tops on Niagara is pretty much out of everything — everyone was going in there rushing. They’re allowing two items per person — two of the same item.”
In addition to Pediasure, Boisvert said he was also looking for “soda and some other foods.”
News 4 also talked with an Elmwood shopper who was picking up essentials for his wife, who’s expecting and plans to give birth in a few days. He wanted to make sure they had everything they needed.
“Get some essentials for my family and make it back home and wait for my wife to have a baby,” Mitchell Figlerowicz said. “Next couple days she’s due, wanna make sure we have everything at home.”
He said the location was “pretty good as far as picking up the odds and ends.”
Shoppers also had a hard time finding fresh produce, lunch meats, eggs and bread, all because of the high demand. But a few customers were understanding that it’s going to take time.
“Due to the nature of what we’re going through, people are trying to grab what they can,” shopper Carl Phillips said. “Feed their families and stuff of that nature. Luckily, there are some items left, not very much but you grab what you can and be thankful.”
Fellow shopper Sandra Jackson said there is a lesson to be learned from the rush.
“And this is a lesson learned — stock up,” Jackson said. “Just make sure we stay with food and cabinet stuff and you know stuff that we need.”
Workers at both locations News 4 visited were restocking the shelves, trying to make sure items were there.
The stores are expecting to be fully stocked either by Thursday or Friday now that shipments are able to make it to the locations again.
Sarah Minkewicz is an Emmy-nominated reporter and Buffalo native who has been a part of the News 4 team since 2019. Follow Sarah on Twitter @SarahMinkewicz and click here to see more of her work.