To the Editors:

During these troubling times I am struck by several things. The first is how selfless and friendly most people seem to be towards one and other. The clerks at the grocery stores, putting themselves in harm’s way, offer smiles to all who brave to enter the local markets. The restaurant owners, feeling the incredible hit to their businesses, are going out of their way to prepare delicious take-out orders for those who realize that without their patronage, their doors might permanently close. Behind the scenes, the unseen food industry workers and truckers are trying desperately to keep our shelves stocked as the ugly second thing I have noticed has reared its hideous head.

Selfishness is a real evil during these trying times. As I walk around Stop & Shop, I see most people grabbing a few things, perhaps dinner for a couple nights. Then there are those who are piling high two shopping carts full of food, without concern that they took the last three cartons of eggs, or the last two packs of toilet paper. It is because of these later paranoid hoarders that the shelves were almost bare this week. On any given snow storm, the same is true but to a much lesser degree. Stop & Shop and the Village Market have deliveries all day and night seven days a week. The trucks haven’t stopped coming. The food manufacturers are still in business. The roads are in fact clearer than ever and deliveries are right on time. But they just can’t keep up with the demand created by the selfish among us.

Our president, whether you agree with him or not, has issued a plea to not hoard groceries. He has spoken with the food industry and all is alive and well. Our trucking companies are running, our slaughterhouses are doing what they do best, and our farmers are producing the crops and food they always have. So please, let’s all calm down a little and leave some for the next person. Take precautions going to the market. Wash before and after you go. Wipe down your carts with the provided wipes. Allow for social distancing. But please, stop the selfish hoarding!

John Tate