Grocery shoppers go hungry, finding online orders delayed and shelves emptied

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Some customers are describing their experience trying to get groceries as “beyond frustrating.”

Nancy Ellis is 78 years old, disabled, and doesn’t want to leave her house right now during the coronavirus outbreak since she’s at risk.

She says she placed an order on Kroger’s website to have her groceries delivered Monday. Days later, she says she was charged for her order but has yet to get any food.

“It makes me tearful and very sad,” Ellis said.

She held back tears as she recounted reaching out to Kroger several times.

One of her emails to the company read: “I am elderly. And do not have a way to get groceries. I am desperate. Please respond asap. Thank you for your attention to this matter.”

She says she received no response and no groceries.

Her story isn’t the only one. Many have expressed defeat as stores don’t have the basic items they want, or their online orders are delayed for hours if not days.

On Monday, Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland warned people to not hoard food and said there was no reason to panic.

But despite his plea, panic-buying continues to take a hold of customers.

Grocery stores across the Mid-South are battling to keep their shelves stocked with items like toilet paper, hand sanitizer, meat and bread.

Walmart said in a statement, in part:  “We have had to cancel a number of orders due to item availability.”

Right now, the company says stores are only offering time slots for “the same day and up to one day in advance.” IT stated, “it will allow us to better serve our customers during this busy time.”

Kroger says its stores are slammed too and “are working as hard as we can.”

A spokesperson said they are looking into Ellis’ order and promised to help.

A Kroger spokesperson told WREG that they now have a phone number to call for issues with deliveries: 1-800-KROGERS.

If you’re facing a problem, we’ve found some websites for you where you can let these stores know:

Kroger: https://www.kroger.com/hc/help/contact-us/customer-comments

Walmart: https://corporate.walmart.com/store-corporate-feedback

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