Statement from Smith’s: Smith’s Food & Drug Store associates are on the frontlines, ensuring everyone has access to the food, services and products they need during this unprecedented pandemic. We are committed to protecting the health and safety of our associates.
We’ve let our associates know that they are permitted to wear protective masks and gloves. There is a national shortage of personal protective equipment and we fully support America’s health care workers having first priority to obtain the equipment they need.
Smith’s is advocating to government officials at all levels for help securing a priority place in line for all grocery workers – after health care workers – to have access to protective masks and gloves.
We continue to enhance our daily sanitation practices, including cleaning commonly used areas including cashier stations, self-checkouts, credit card terminals, food service counters, and shelves.
Smith’s will be installing plexiglass partitions at many cash registers, to further promote physical distancing. Many of our stores are beginning the installation process this week, and we anticipate every check lane having a partition, including pharmacy counters and Starbucks registers by the end of next week. In addition, we are installing educational floor decals to promote physical distancing at check lanes and other counters.
Smith’s has adjusted store operating hours from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm to allow more time for our associates to rest, clean and replenish inventory.
Kroger has enacted Emergency Leave Guidelines, allowing paid time off for associates diagnosed with COVID-19, placed under mandatory quarantine and paid time off for self-isolation and symptoms as verified by an accredited health care professional. All eligible associates will receive their standard pay for up to two weeks (14 days).
For those affected by COVID-19, the organization has also made available additional resources through the Kroger Family of Companies Helping Hands fund to provide financial assistance to associates who face hardship due to COVID-19, including lack of access to childcare and for those considered at higher-risk.
“We believe all these steps will help to ensure the safety of our associates and help our communities to flatten the curve while at the same time meeting our obligation to be there for our customers, said Aubriana Martindale, Smith’s corporate affairs manager.
At Smith’s Food & Drug, a company of The Kroger Co., we are Fresh for Everyone and dedicated to our Purpose: To Feed the Human Spirit. In everything we do, we’re guided by our values and our Purpose: to Feed the Human Spirit. We strive to make decisions that balance the safety of our associates with our commitments to our customers and communities. And above all else, we’ll be there for our communities when they need us most.