Australians are sharing the stark reality of buying groceries in 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic grips the world.
As millions of panic buyers strip supermarket shelves bare by stockpiling and hoarding essential items, many have walked away with empty shopping trolleys.
In a press conference to the nation on Wednesday morning, Prime Minister Scott Morrison begged Australians to ‘stop hoarding’ in fear of a lockdown as supermarket stores will remain open.
‘I can’t be more blunt about it. Stop it. It’s ridiculous. It’s un-Australian, and it must stop. It is not sensible and it is not helpful,’ Mr Morrison said.
‘It has been one of the most disappointing things I have seen in Australian behaviour in response to this crisis. That is not who we are as a people. It is not necessary.
‘There is no reason for people to be hoarding supplies in fear of a lockdown or anything like this. It is not something that people should be doing.’
Australians are sharing the stark reality of buying groceries in 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic grips the world
As millions of panic buyers strip supermarket shelves bare by stockpiling and hoarding essential items, many have walked away with empty shopping trolleys
One shopper shared a confronting picture of her Aldi store, south west of Sydney, showing the empty freezers after most of the frozen items were sold out
In a press conference to the nation on Wednesday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison begged Australians to ‘stop hoarding’ in fear of a lockdown as supermarket stores will remain open
A joint statement from leading supermarkets
Australia’s leading supermarket chains have banded together on Wednesday to plead with customers to be considerate of each other and treat staff members respectfully.
Aldi, Coles, IGA and Woolworth said they were doing everything they could to get as much produce on the shelves as possible, often under difficult circumstances.
‘So we ask you to please be considerate in the way you shop,’ they said in a joint statement.
‘We understand your concerns, but if you buy only what you need and stick to the product limits it helps everyone, especially the elderly and people with disability.’
Supermarkets have been forced to introduce buying limits on items due to the surge in demand for goods.
Meanwhile, hundreds of shoppers are now voicing their frustration on social media after struggling to get their hands on everyday household essentials such as toilet paper, pasta, school snacks, bread, milk, eggs and fresh fruits and vegetables.
‘It’s absolutely ridiculous trying to do just a normal top up shop for basics right now. The paranoid sheep have put so many people at risk with their greed so I hope they’re happy with themselves,’ Leeanne said.
‘All this unnecessary panic buying and hoarding of all products is disgusting and the people responsible should be fully ashamed of themselves.’
Kellie shared a picture of an empty aisle, saying: ‘Just went to do our fortnight shopping as we don’t get to town every week and yeah struggling is an understatement.’
Many desperate shoppers are calling for food stamps or food banks to be rolled out in an effort to stop panic buyers from hoarding all the basic items.
‘Absolutely terrible at the shops. Food stamps need to be issued. The problem is people are missing out everybody needs to eat not just the elderly and disadvantaged. If we got food stamps everyone would get what they need,’ Sue said.
Joanna said: ‘I have friends overseas who are saying that food banks have been set up – similar to what we have at Christmas time. Surely this is a great idea for Australia at this time to help anyone in need.’
Another shopper said she arrived at her local Coles store only to find most of the meat gone
Many shoppers are struggling to get their hands on everyday household essentials such as toilet paper, pasta, school snacks, bread, and even fresh fruits and vegetables
One woman shared a picture of the empty meat aisle at her local Woolworths store, adding: ‘Don’t even get me started on the toilet paper aisle’
Mother Angela revealed she’s struggling to get groceries for her family of six – and she’s even considering taking her kids out of school because she has no food to prepare lunches for them.
‘It is ridiculous. My husband and I both work so we don’t get to go shopping until Friday afternoons and by the time we get there there is nothing left. I can’t even get the basics. The way it is going I will need to pull my kids out of school because I won’t have food to send with them,’ she said.
Desperate Australians begged others to be considerate of others when they do their grocery shop because the ‘greed’ has spiralled out of control across the country.
‘Unfortunately the greed is contagious as people are now buying larger amounts of the items they usually get when it’s available because they don’t want to be caught short again,’ Brett said.
Jill said: ‘I work as a register operator in a small supermarket. The virus does not scare me, it’s the pure greed and the look on people’s faces that does.’
Rachel said: ‘This whole thing is bringing tears to my eyes. I am so sorry for those that are struggling, some humans are just animals and so greedy, kids going without food, nappies and toilet paper I never imagined I would see in my lifetime.’
Kellz shared a picture of the empty meat aisle of a Woolworths store, saying: ‘Don’t even get me started on the toilet paper aisle. I hope all these greedy people that have stockpiles are happy with themselves knowing they have left nothing for anyone else.’
Desperate Australians begged others to be considerate of others when they do their grocery shop because the ‘greed’ has spiralled out of control across the country
Leyla shared a photograph showing most of the fresh fruits and vegetables sold out at Coles
Shoppers have been struggling to get the basic items, including fruits, vegetables and meat
Deborah who has three sons – including two teenagers – said she hasn’t been able to get any food supplies to put in her children’s lunchboxes for school and work.
‘I can’t even get supplies such as muesli bars or cheese or bread for sandwiches. They need to start a system where you can only shop at the supermarket if you live within certain kilometres. Therefore those of us that shop locally to get the essentials to feed our families can actually still do our weekly or daily shop,’ Sue said.
People who are on a disability pension or suffer a health condition said they have been walking away from supermarkets empty handed.
‘I have been unable to get anything for two weeks. I’m on disability pension with no car and limited mobility. At the best of times I can’t stock up. So stressed that it’s making me physically sick. It’s so tough, what more must I go without. I just want to be able to buy my normal shopping,’ Sue said.
Heather begged supermarket stores to limit all items to just two per customer until the ‘madness stops’.
‘For goodness sake… The poor staff are not security officers and can’t stop the selfish filling up their trolleys, leaving nothing for everyone else, someone has to do something, it’s bloody ridiculous,’ she said.
Maryanne said: ‘As I work from 4am til midday I am left with empty shelves when I go to the shops. I have chronic lung disease and can’t even get hand sanitiser let alone toilet paper. How ridiculous and greedy can people be. Just wondering how many times these hoarders actually go to the toilet or are they just trying to make a profit from stripping the shelves bare and selling at a profit.’
As the coronavirus pandemic grips the country, panic buyers have been clearing out shelves
Kim shared this picture, saying: ‘I live in the New England area of New South Wales where there has not been one confirmed case of COVID-19 yet this was the toilet paper aisle yesterday at Woolworths’
New mother Jessica, who has an infant, urged ‘selfish’ shoppers to be considerate of others
Another woman with a medical bowel condition said she has been unable to buy toilet paper.
‘I can’t control my bowel movements, and I need toilet paper as a requirement of my condition. I work full time, so I am not entitled to a health care card, and am also not able to attend early to obtain toilet paper,’ she said.
‘So I am dependent on others to track it down for me. This is unfair to the few of us who need toilet paper for medical reasons.’
Melissa said her weekly shop has become increasingly ‘stressful’.
‘It shouldn’t be this hard to do your normal grocery shopping. If everyone was sensible we wouldn’t have these problems. There is seven weeks of toilet paper supply being snatched up within an hour. It just shows how bad the situation is now,’ she said.
Steve said his family have struggled to get their hands on toilet paper over the past two weeks.
‘It’s now two weeks since we’ve been able to get toilet paper. I think it’s going to have to be time to start using the towels, shower and the hose tomorrow,’ he said.
Another shopper said she arrived at her local Aldi at 9am on Tuesday only to find most shelves empty.
‘They only opened at 8.30am, all shelves are empty all meat and frozen foods gone… it’s becoming a joke for just the everyday items for those who are not bulk buying and thinking of others,’ she said.