Skip to comments.Rumor Sparks Panic Buying (Welfare-recipient mobs damage stores)
Posted on 09/06/2005 11:14:46 PM PDT by Cedar
GREENVILLE - A rumor spread on Saturday created a panic in the city and caused untold damage to area stores from mobs of people trying to secure food supplies and other items using emergency food stamp vouchers.
Wal-Mart, both Kroger stores, Kmart, Bing's and other smaller stores in the city were left in shambles Saturday night after hundreds of people ransacked food shelves, assaulted some employees trying to get at food supplies and ripped open boxes and pallets of food before employees could restock shelves.
Welfare recipients in the county were issued emergency food stamp vouchers on Friday and Saturday by personnel with the Mississippi Department of Human Services. A rumor was subsequently spread in the city that the vouchers had to be used by midnight Saturday or they were no longer good.
That rumor sparked the panic buying by welfare recipients and created the problems for area merchants.
The vouchers were to accommodate for the downtime the department has had in dispensing welfare monies to Electronic Benefit Transfer accounts due power outages caused by Hurricane Katrina.
Wal-Mart was hit so hard that store officials finally closed the store at 11 p.m. Saturday due to the unsafe conditions in which shoppers had left aisles.
Eye witness accounts from several Saturday evening shoppers at Wal-Mart told of people grabbing food before store personnel could get pallets out of stock rooms.
Bread, meats, juices, water, boxed items and canned goods were hot items. Store employees had to be pulled from other departments just to handle the panic buying and clean up aisles, which were nearly impassable from dumped food items and broken cartons of items, which made the floors dangerous and unsafe to use.
On Sunday morning, scores of shopping carts could be seen near the customer service area where Saturday shoppers had left them following the frenzied activity of many of the shoppers.
None of the store associates or management talked to would go on record, but they did confirm that the store was closed on Saturday evening for safety reasons and because store personnel couldn't restock shelves fast enough.
Store personnel were still cleaning up the mess mid-morning Sunday while shelves were nearly bare of many items.
Art Rusk, manager at Bing's County Market on Mississippi 1 North, said this morning that his store did more business Saturday then all of the previous week.
Derrick Williams, a truck driver for Mrs. Baird's, restocked bread on shelves in Super Value, in the Goyer Shopping Center.
"They were snatching it up as fast as I could put in on Saturday," said Williams, who also had to make several emergency runs for several stores that had run out of bread over the weekend.
Kroger officials would not comment for the record, but there was confirmed at least one altercation on Saturday due to shopping requiring police involvement, as witnessed by a caller to the newspaper on Sunday.
Does no one work in these states?
We already saw 2 NO policewomen robbing Walmart on national tv. NO rebuild!!
Reminds me of the po' folks who bum rushed a gov. agency in Virginia a few weeks back for free laptops.
Rumor has it that there are openings as bus drivers, but you'd have to ask the Mayor.
Work or starve - works for me!
You need to visit to get the true picture. If I said how things really are, I might get accused and flamed. (I must be a chicken, huh?)
Just take my word, there are people who do work. The population has changed over the last 15 years in some of these towns, so now there are more and more people who just collect checks.
I am shocked.
I can't even imagine. A store wreaked? What is the whole town on food stamps?
The Mississippi Delta towns have historically been majority black and very poor. This is where the blues was born you know.
In South Florida: Bagels, Bottled Water, Batteries.
"The Mississippi Delta towns have historically been majority black and very poor."
Not exactly true.
The population of this city, Greenville, has changed. It was always majority white with some black population.
That goes for the rest of the MS Delta -- towns like Leland, Hollandale, Shaw, Cleveland, etc.
These were grand Southern towns for years and years -- very nice places to live.
As I said, the last 15-20 years has brought a change in the population. And there has been a change in crime statistics also.
---I get the point. But I also have to laugh because it sounds to me like every supermarket in my area on the day before Thanksgiving.---
People trash the stores before Thanksgiving where you live? Where do you live?
Just about anywhere the refugees were sent, will have more gene pool chlorine than Nawlins did. Even Red Stick.
You keep crapping for a couple of days after you run out of food....
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