Ward's Supermarket keeping shelves stocked during pandemic thanks to help from local farmers
Ward's supermarket in Gainesville prides themselves on locally fresh meats and produce and now that is more important than ever.
They have been family owned and operated since 1951 and during the pandemic, the importance of keeping the food coming has grown significantly. Ward's has been able to keep their shelves stocked thanks to their connections with local farmers and ranchers.
Russ Welker, Natural Foods Manager at Ward's says, "When you see empty shelves at the big stores, we have full shelves. And we are an independent grocer. We are very flexible. We have many suppliers and if one supplier is out of a grocery item, we move quickly to another supplier."
And compared to other businesses that have had to shut down during the pandemic, ward's has actually seen more demand.
Welker says, "With people being at home and self quarantining, they have been eating a lot of food. So the grocery business and not just our business, but all business has been very busy the last two months and more so than normal."
They are hoping that by continuing to support local farmers and ranchers, that will help the community in the long run after the pandemic is over.
"I think that after this is all over that people will feel closer as a community and they'll feel closer to those that took care of them during these hard times. And we hope that as a supermarket and a food supplier that we've done as much as we could to help this community."