In the fourth week of shelter-in-place practices throughout our region, decisive action is being taken to help ensure retail dairy shelves are well-stocked — even if some usual items are not as readily available.

ADA North East retail staff has been working with major retail chains at the corporate level throughout the six-state region — representing around 1400 stores — that have all removed limits to milk purchases.

Many stores are challenged with receiving deliveries of milk and other dairy products on time. Until distribution and supply is corrected, stores may temporarily continue to post quantity limits on high-demand items — including milk and dairy products.

If you see a store limiting product quantities or out-of-stock on certain items, politely ask a store employee if you can purchase more or when they expect their next delivery.

“Essential operationsâ€_x009d_ like processing plants and grocery stores are continuing to work every day -— just like farmers. However, like other essential operators, they are coping with limited staff to perform necessary tasks as employees are balancing personal needs during this pandemic.

Coupled with increased demand at the store level for favorite food items like milk, cheese, yogurt and butter and people purchasing more during a single trip in order to shop less frequently, it’s understandable that stores are struggling to keep well-stocked.

Additionally, some processors are limiting the number of products they produce in exchange for boosting production of the most popular items — such as milk gallons.

Some smaller retailers like dollar stores, pharmacies and convenience stores are likely to sell out of dairy products more quickly because of limited refrigeration and less-frequent deliveries. To help ensure the desired products are available, check with the store to see when the next dairy delivery is expected.

ADA North East’s retail team will continue to assist stores in enhancing retail sales as long as possible under these current conditions.