Looking after locals

Riddells Creek Foodworks has employed security to check identification at the door to prevent outsiders from stripping the shelves bare.
The move comes after reports of busloads of Melbourne shoppers flocking to regional towns and clearing the shelves.
Since 10am last Wednesday, anyone without proof of residency within a 12km radius of Riddells Creek was turned away from the store.
Manager Joanne Bodsworth said drastic measures were necessary to stop abusive shoppers and control the supply of groceries to people in the community.
“It was beginning to get too hard on staff to keep up with the demand and some shoppers were starting to get abusive towards staff and others,” she said.
Ms Bodsworth said staff had noticed carloads of unfamiliar people descending on the store to stock up on goods and weekday customers had increased from 500 to 1600 in recent weeks.
“Our main staples have been continuously drained. Anything like toilet paper, tissues, hand soap, sanitiser, pasta and rice, has been hard to keep up with. Local residents have welcomed the call for ID at the door,” Ms Bodsworth said.
Similar non-local shopper bans are being called for in towns like Woodend and Kyneton to help return the grocery supply, but Coles says it has no plans to impose these kind of restrictions for its country stores.
Woolworths and Coles say they have employed other measures to address the extraordinary level of demand in recent weeks including working around clock to replenish stock and imposing limits on product purchases.
Macedon Ranges Shire Council last week waived delivery restrictions to allow trucks to deliver to supermarkets as required.
Bendigo MP Lisa Chesters and Macedon MP Mary-Anne Thomas have reminded people to shop responsibly and to have respect for supermarket staff working under pressure.
“We are navigating a new and difficult situation with many unknowns and as stores manage stock levels, I’d like to remind local residents to be patient and show respect to staff,” Ms Chesters said.
“It is paramount that we treat retail workers with courtesy and respect at this time, it is not their fault that there is no stock on the shelves. They are doing their best.”
Ms Thomas said the government was working with Coles, Woolworths, IGA and Aldi on strategies to ensure all Victorians could get the supplies they needed.
Anyone who has purchased a little extra and is able to spare some goods is encouraged to donate to Kyneton Caring Community to ensure that locals in need will receive it.

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