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Coronavirus Update: Due To Crushing Food Demand, Long Island Stores Ready And Willing To Hire Thousands

CARLE PLACE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- Some essential businesses in our area are now looking for workers. They say that they think of it as a holiday hiring spree.

Panicked shoppers are not buying the facts from the experts -- there is no food supply shortage due to the coronavirus outbreak, so there's no need to hoard.

On Long Island there has been a crushing demand, like a pre-snowstorm surge, CBS2's Jennifer McLogan reported Monday.

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That has supermarkets, big box retailers, and other essential businesses have been scrambling to hire hundreds of thousands of workers nationally, most of them temporary, and tens of thousands in the Tri-State Area to keep up with consumers planning for an extended home stay.

"So we need to hire people right now. We are paying like $16-plus an hour. I know a lot of the restaurants are out of jobs right now, so we've been able to find some really terrific people," grocery store CEO Stew Leonard said.


There is high interest from those suddenly out of work. For example, Leonard said he had 90 hopeful applicants for one East Meadow cashier position.

CORONAVIRUS: NY Health Dept. | NY Call 1-(888)-364-3065 | NYC Health Dept. | NYC Call 311, Text COVID to 692692 | NJ COVID-19 Info Hub | NJ Call 1-(800)-222-1222 or 211, Text NJCOVID to 898211 | CT Health Dept. | CT Call 211 | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Elsewhere, CVS has 1,000 open jobs on Long Island, from warehouse workers to pharmacists. Walmart needs 1,000 local workers to help stock shelves, staff warehouses, and handle deliveries. Stop & Shop will hire 5,000 workers from New York and surrounding states. Needs include restocking and sanitizing.

"These are regular part-time as well as we have some full-time opportunities, and they span the whole store, as well as our delivery options and our warehouses. So there's a job for anyone who is in need," said Stop & Shop's Stefani Shuman.

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Stop & Shop is among those providing cash bonuses and additional benefits to workers already on the job.

Business experts in Stony Brook told McLogan the jobs won't make up for lost income, but they do represent a small silver lining in a bleak economic time.

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