Dungog and Clarence Town IGA move to reassure residents

Supplies: Toilet paper remains scarce on the shelves but all other aisles are well stocked at Dungog IGA.

Supplies: Toilet paper remains scarce on the shelves but all other aisles are well stocked at Dungog IGA.

The managers of Dungog and Clarence Town IGA supermarkets have reassured residents the towns will not be short of food.

"People don't need to panic and we ask them to stay calm," said James Lovegrove from Lovey's IGA.

"We are getting deliveries all the time and trying our best to keep the staples on the shelves. We have run out of things but in most cases while you may not get the brand you want, you can get a substitute."

The exception is toilet paper which remains in strong demand across the country.

Home deliveries and online ordering has increased as people move to follow guidelines to stay at home whenever possible to stop the spread of coronavirus.

"We've got some orders this week for people who are in self quarantine, we are organising for no contact delivery and working within the constraints of what we have," said Mr Lovegrove.

Staff are starting early and finishing late to keep the stock on the shelves and keep up with demand.

He said the IGA warehouses had seen triple the volume of stock go out to stores than what usually would go out at Christmas.

"It is unprecedented," he said of the demand for all grocery items.

"I imagine these times are like the world war times when people panic. Hopefully we will all get through it."

Customers' behavior at the local sores had been "pretty good".

"I said to all the staff that we can only do what we can do and that as long as people know that we are trying they sort of accept that a bit."

He dismissed the social media stories that busloads of people from out of the area had swarmed into town leaving the shelves bare.

"We get a lot of non locals shopping here every day, there are a million reasons for people to be in town.

"On the whole our customers have been pretty good. Just people venting a bit. People are scared."