Celebrating the workers who help us feed our families

February 22nd is Supermarket Employee Day

ONALASKA, Wis. (WKBT)- They help us feed our families and we are saying thank you. February 22nd marks the debut of “Supermarket Employee Day”. 

Overflowing bins of produce and fully stocked shelves give Alex Powell plenty of reason to celebrate. “We’re just happy to provide for our community.”, says Powell. For close to a year, the Festival Foods grocery manager and his team have been working overtime, to overcome incredible and sometime outrageous demand brought on by the pandemic. “The toilet paper. I remember bringing pallets out and the guest would swarm us. Guests would swarm us grabbing the Cottonelle and the Charmin.”, says Powell. 

The T.P. is back, cut COVID-19 continues to disrupt numerous supply chains and everyday life. According to the Food Industry Association, six million supermarket employees have come to work everyday since the start of the pandemic. One reason the Association proclaimed February 22, 2021, the first ever supermarket employee day. “There was always a bit of concern in the back of your mind; especially since I have kids at home. (But) We gotta do what’s best for the community and the people.”, says deli supervisor Briana Lautz.  Lautz appreciates the gesture, but says customers have shared their gratitude nearly every day. “We can’t see their faces, but you can see it in their eyes. They are truly thankful and blessed that we are here. It’s been an honor to serve them. It’s really our pleasure.”, says Lautz.

No one knows when the pandemic will end. Between now and then, supermarket employees will be at work, celebrating small accomplishments like helping guests find the items they need. “If we can just get one more case stacked on the shelf, one more mac n cheese out there for someone to get it.”, says Powell.

After toilet paper, leaning supplies and rice were hard to come by. Today; it’s alfredo sauce. Festival Foods expects to be fully stocked soon.