"First I heard it was just going to be toilet paper," said Mike Foster who Arrived at his local Safeway in Foster City and found the shelves were empty of everything else too.
RELATED: Store shortage fears trigger violent fight at San Francisco Safeway
The run on grocery stores is happening across the state, empty shelves, long lines and all of it unnecessary according to the California Grocers Association. The group represents hundreds of stores across the state including big chains like Costco.
"The main message is, there's plenty of food, there's plenty of supply but delivering it to our stores and trying to keep up with the buying patterns of hoarding and overbuying is an impossibility at this point," said Ron Fong, Ce and President of the group.
To meet demand, Safeway announced they are hiring immediately - 2,000 openings for stores in Northern California, Western Nevada and Hawaii region - including delivery drivers.
From Ron Fong, President and CEO @CalGrocers : The main message is,there’s plenty of food, there’s plenty of supply but delivering it to our stores and trying to keep up with the buying patterns of hoarding and overbuying is an impossibility at this point.More @abc7newsbayarea— KrisReyes (@KrisReyes) March 16, 2020
Fong wants to make it clear to shoppers, California's food distribution centers are ready for disaster.
"We have dealt with fires and earthquakes and natural disasters so we are set up in such a way that there is an abundance of freight and supplies in our distribution Centers."
Recognizing the problem, some grocery stores are coming up with their own solutions.
RELATED: Everything you need to know about the San Francisco Bay Area's shelter-in-place order
At a Sobey's in Edmonton, Alberta in Canada, the store owner implemented hours just for senior shopping - in a cleaner, quieter environment. Same for a chain in Australia.
When I posted it on Twitter, it was retweeted, hundreds of times. Some tagging their local grocery store to do the same. Recently, Zannotto's Markets in San Jose posted on Facebook they're doing the same.
"I think that would be wonderful. All the younger people they're just knocking me out of the way," said Hershe Collins, a woman In her 70's who has been grocery store hopping looking for essentials.
RELATED STORIES & VIDEOS:
- Live updates about coronavirusoutbreak in US, around the world
- What to know about COVID-19 in Calif., how it'saffecting San Francisco Bay Area
- Coronavirus: Cancellations, suspensions and shortages related to the global virus outbreak
- How coronavirus compares with the flu
- No masks but here are 100+ products that may help protect you against novel coronavirus germs
- Everything Americans need to know about coronavirus
- Coronavirus Prevention: How to properly wash your hands
- Busting COVID-19 coronavirus myths: Facts from the Centers for Disease Control
- Here's a look at some of history's worst pandemics that have killed millions
- Coronavirus Outbreak: 7 questions answered
- Is the new COVID-19 virus more 'deadly' than flu? Not exactly
- Coronavirus outbreak: Health expert shares tips for preparedness, emergency supply list to stay healthy
- Coronavirus: SF artist creates realistic-looking custom respirator masks that unlocks iPhones
- Coronavirus outbreak: SF doctor explains how to protect yourself, stay healthy
- Coronavirus: SF State educator addresses xenophobia in the Bay Area
- SF Mayor London Breed explains declaring state of emergency over coronavirus