Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, several major grocery chains have closed stores, including Aldi. This has caused a ripple effect in communities across the United States, particularly those already dealing with food insecurity. No one knows how long the closures, or their effects, won’t last. Here’s what you need to know about why and how grocery chains, including Aldi, are closing stores, and what you can do to help.

What is Closing?

Aldi has stated that they are currently closing a number of their stores in the United States. Aldi is not the only major grocery chain closing stores, however. Over the past few weeks, several big-name grocery stores have shut down due to the pandemic, including Kroger, Walmart, and SuperValu. This has caused a ripple effect in communities across the U.S., with decreased access to fresh and healthy groceries.

What are the Reasons Behind Closings?

There are a number of reasons why major grocery chains, including Aldi, are closing stores.

  1. Increased Demand: The pandemic has led to an increase in demand for certain essential items that are normally staples of grocery store shelves, such as toilet paper, paper towels, and cleaning supplies. This has caused a strain on the supply chain for these items, meaning that some grocery stores are unable to keep up with the high demand.

  2. Social Distancing: In order to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, grocery stores have implemented social distancing measures, such as encouraging customers to stand six feet apart from each other. As a result, many stores are now operating at decreased capacity, making it difficult to meet consumer demand.

  3. Employee Shortages: As the pandemic progresses, more and more grocery stores are experiencing employee shortages. Many store employees have had to stay home or take additional precautions at work due to potential exposure to the virus, leading to reduced hours in some stores.

What Are the Effects of Closings?

The effects of the closures of major grocery stores, including Aldi, can be felt on a number of different levels.

  1. Decreased Access to Food: One of the most obvious effects of the closures is decreased access to necessary food items for consumers in the communities where the stores have closed. This is particularly true in communities that are already dealing with food insecurity.

  2. Reduced Competition: As the number of grocery stores decreases due to closures, the remaining stores may find themselves with less competition. This could lead to higher prices for certain essential items, as there is no longer competition from other stores to keep prices down.

  3. Layoffs: The closures of stores can also lead to layoffs for store employees. In many cases, these layoffs come with little to no advance notice, leaving employees facing an uncertain future with few options.

What Can You Do?

There are a few ways that you can help in the wake of major grocery store closures, including Aldi:

  1. Shop Smaller Grocery Stores: If a major grocery store closes in your area, consider shopping at your local smaller grocery stores. This will help make sure that your community has access to food and also ensures that the small businesses in your area stay afloat as well.

  2. Donate: Consider making a donation to organizations that provide food and other resources to communities in need. These organizations can help provide access to healthy, affordable food in our communities.

  3. Advocate: Speak up about the importance of grocery stores in our communities and push your local government to take action to help keep these stores open. This can be done through writing to your local politicians or attending food justice rallies and protests in your area.

The closures of major grocery stores, including Aldi, have had a noticeable effect on communities across the United States. From decreased access to food to layoffs for store employees, these closures are having a real impact. However, there are still things that we can do to help reduce the effects of these closures, from shopping local smaller stores to advocating for food justice in our communities.