'Stop Panic Shopping': Grocery item limit suggested to prevent hoarding in San Mateo Co. amid coronavirus pandemic

DALY CITY, Calif. (KGO) -- Empty shelves and long lines have been a new normal at grocery stores around the Bay Area amid the novel coronavirus pandemic and some lawmakers are trying to address the issue.

"Stop panic shopping," San Mateo Co. Supervisor David Canepa was at Daly City's Westlake Shopping Center on Saturday morning to talk about the problem grocery hoarding.

"it's really just shocking, this is our new normal, unfortunately," Canepa described store lines where in some cases people had to wait up to an hour to an hour and a half at Trader Joes and Safeway.

"I want the consumer to be reassured that there's enough supply," Canepa said. The California grocers association and the stores know the supply chain is healthy and will replenish itself. Canepa said there's no need to buy items in bulk that some may never use.

Canepa also warned if people do not stop panic shopping, then lawmakers may have to -- and he's willing to take action.

"If they cannot regulate and it's not working amongst all stores, then we need to see what we can do to implement something county-wide"

If the bulk buying and long lines still persist in a month, Canepa said he will propose legislation that will limit how many items shoppers can purchase in San Mateo County.

"Each consumer would be allowed to purchase one product, multiple products, but that one product can't be purchased more than four times," Canepa added. "No one wants to be the grocery police, I don't want to do that, but when people keep buying a large number of items, it doesn't help."

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