By CAROLINE BECK, Alabama Daily News
MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Gov. Kay Ivey proclaimed Monday Supermarket Employee Day in Alabama as a way to honor grocery store workers who continued to work throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Despite the constant changes in public health orders, supply chains disruptions and workforce challenges, our state’s grocers have worked tirelessly throughout the last year to remain open and continue to provide Alabamians with what they need,” Ivey said. “This has been an incredible effort by these heroes in our communities, and they deserve our gratitude and recognition for all that they do.”
The Alabama Grocers Association thanked Ivey for the recognition on Monday and joined supermarkets and food manufactures nationwide to celebrate the first-ever Supermarket Employee Day.
“The grocery community has been helping the state of Alabama to stay strong during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Ellie Taylor, president of the Alabama Grocers Association said. “When COVID-19 forced people to home shelter, we stayed open. And we have continued to adapt and serve our communities every day. There is no question that supermarket employees are heroes.”
The association says the food retail industry in Alabama provides more than 70,000 jobs and has a total economic impact of more than $12 billion on the state’s economy.
Rep. Gil Isbell, R-Gadsden, and Sen. Jabo Waggoner, R-Birmingham, also presented a joint resolution from the Alabama Legislature honoring the day.
“Supermarket employees are on the frontline of the ongoing pandemic, just as healthcare workers, first responders, teachers and many more,” Isbell said. “We thank them for their dedication and service that they provide to others in our state. Without them, we truly couldn’t exist.”
Harold Garrett, President of Gateway Foods and chairman of the Alabama Grocers Association, also thanked supermarket employees for their ongoing service to the public.
“It is my belief that there is none any more deserving of being honored for their own special day than the men and women that make up the grocery industry,” Garrett said. “They are heroes in every sense of the word, willing to get to work when the rest of the world wants to shut down.”