Below you will find tips and tricks on how to shop for groceries during this pandemic. Learn how to stock up your pantry while protecting yourself and others at the grocery store!


If you are able to go to the grocery store:

  1. Try making less frequent and bigger shopping trips. If possible buy 1-2 weeks of food to avoid going to the store frequently. Do Not Hoard Unneccesary Amounts Of Food
  2. Plan before you start shopping, check your pantry, and make a list of items you need so you can shop quickly and avoid wasting time.
  3. When you do go grocery shopping, it is required to wear a mask in NC. You can find more info and how to make a mask here.
  4. Make sure your cart is sanitized and avoid touching your face or answering phone calls while in the store.
  5. Shop alone if possible.
  6. Stay 6 feet away from other shoppers and respect their space.
  7. Touch as few items as possible.
  8. When checking out stay 6 feet away from other in line.
  9. Try touchless payments or cards before using cash.
  10. Sanitize your hands after leaving the store and/or washing your hands first thing when you get home.

If you are elderly, immunocompromised, or with an underlying medical condition consider:

  1. Going to the grocery store during designated store hours for those higher at risk
  2. Getting your groceries delivered using an online service (try to tip electronically)
  3. Asking someone you know to shop for you


Helpful Links:

“In Praise of Pantry Cooking: Here’s How to Make the Most of Shelf-Stable Staples during COVID-19” — Explore ideas for how to use shelf-stable items and staple foods to create meals during quarantine.

“Shopping for Food During the COVID-19 Pandemic” — Find information for consumers recommended by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration

“Running Essential Errands” — The CDC has put forth best practice recommendations for grocery shopping, accepting deliveries and takeout, banking, getting gas, and visiting the doctor.

“How to Remove Gloves” — The CDC only recommends wearing gloves when cleaning and when handling items of a sick individual. If you choose to wear gloves when grocery shopping, reference this document to know the proper method for removal.

“COVID-19 Food Safety Resources” — A website made by NC State University compiling a variety of food safety resources, including resources in both English and Spanish.