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Grocery store workers seen as local heroes amid COVID-19

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Grocery stores have remained open despite COVID-19 to make sure we have food, water, toilet paper and more. Risking their health to help the community.

It all starts with an early morning wake up call to open up the store and sanitize all the carts.

The cashiers gear up for long day of checking and sanitizing between each customer.

Those in the back are making sure the most compromised who can’t make it out to the store are getting their to-go groceries in a timely and safe manner.

"it's changed tremendously with the how many orders are going out since this pandemic started," says Anne Peters a Hy-Vee employee.

Anne Peters says being on the frontline, especially working the to-go orders for those who can’t afford to risk shopping in public has meant a lot to her. As her brother cannot chance leaving the house.

"my brother Austin has chrones disease so, when he gets sick it's bad. My mom always makes sure…anytime I come home from work she's just like take off your shoes and stuff off in the garage I'll have a robe to put on and then sanitize everything after that since we share a bathroom,” says Peters.

Anne Peters isn’t the only employee who has compromised family at home. Lee Shelby’s husband has Emphysema and C.O.P.D.

“take everything off at the door, leave it all outside. Shoes have all been lined up outside for weeks. I sanitize my car too…it's a process," says Lee Shelby.

Store manager Elise Schiel says keeping up with the demands can be challenging.

“we always cleaned and now we clean like 4 times as much 5 times as much,” says Elise Schiel, store manager.

And food is flying off the shelves.

"before all this started we got 30 plus trucks a week and now I'd say we get 40. Just trying to keep up with the demand," says Schiel.

Whether it’s the cashiers coming in contact with customers, the store attendants cleaning the most touched areas, or the flower designers putting together arrangements for new ways to celebrate graduations and birthdays…they’re out on the front line everyday for us.

“you kind of have to have a brave heart for it. It's a crazy world out there right now but what we do matters,” says Peters.

Hy-Vee is currently giving all their employees a 10% bonus, as well as free meals everyday for their efforts.

Trisha Christakes

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