By: Leslie Sarasin, President and CEO, FMI
In times of emergency, we realize the true resiliency of our supply chain. Our industry is working 24-hours-a-day to replenish and restock shelves, while ensuring the cleanliness of stores and the safety of its associates. In the midst of keeping things moving, the needs of all our customers and partners – including WIC and SNAP shoppers and the food banks we support – remain top-of-mind.
This week, on behalf of the food industry, I participated on a White House call with the nation’s food retailers, wholesalers and suppliers to assure the Administration that stores across the country have a viable supply chain that can provide safe, affordable food and consumer products for our customers during this time.
We know from the testimony of customers caught in the throes of natural disaster that the constant of the grocery store remaining open is a beacon of hope in their communities. Grocery stores and their supplier partners share a commitment to the neighborhoods they serve.
Even amidst numerous state emergency declarations relative to mass gatherings impacting restaurants and bars, the White House re-emphasized that grocery stores will remain open during this national emergency. In The President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America - 15 Days to Slow the Spread, the Administration confirmed that the food and agricultural industry is one of the nation’s critical infrastructure industries.
I am honored to work in this industry that continues to rise to the occasion and the challenges of our times; I am humbled by your service and dedication to the citizens of our country. I know the food industry is doing its very best to give shoppers food and basic necessities to navigate their lives during this uncertain time.