Stop panic buying and hoarding food because of coronavirus, Mayor Garcetti tells L.A.

Shelves with toilet paper are half-empty at a Pavilions supermarket in South Pasadena on Wednesday.
(Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti visited a Ralphs food distribution center in Paramount on Monday morning with several grocery store chain executives in an effort to calm Angelenos worried about the region’s grocery supplies.

Garcetti implored Angelenos not to “panic buy” at supermarkets, and live-streamed his visit on Facebook. “It’s appropriate to buy food for a week, as we do,” Garcetti said. “But to buy so much food for a month, or even for months, has a consequence not just for you but for your loved ones, for grocery workers, and of course for those who are most vulnerable and who need food right now.”

The grocery store executives said stores are being restocked and cleaned.


“Although we are a little bit behind on stocking some shelves, it’s not a supply problem,” said Rob McDougall, president of Gelson’s. “It’s just really a people problem in [getting] that product to the shelves.”

Bryan Kaltenbach, president of Food 4 Less, said: “Try to be prudent in the amount of products that you are buying in one setting.”

Garcetti said the best estimates for the delivery of hand sanitizers being delivered to stores “is a matter of weeks.” He also said that tap water is safe to drink.