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Rural Grocery Initiative

Guidance on COVID-19 for Retailers

This page will be used to share information regarding guidance for grocery stores during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.  This page will be updated regularly as more resources are available. 

Federal Resources

What Grocery and Food Retail Workers Need to Know about COVID-19, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

COVID-19 Federal Rural Resource Guide, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19, U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA)

Resources for Businesses and Employers, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

What every American and community can do now to decrease the spread of Coronavirus, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Kansas Resources

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment is coordinating all information and updates on the State of Kansas response. Please consult the KDHE COVID-19 Resource Center for the most up-to-date information. 

Key Resources from KDHE for retailers:

COVID-19 and Food Safety FAQ, Kansas Department of Agriculture

Kansas COVID-19 Food Establishment Guidance, April 3, Kansas Department of Agriculture

Food Safety and COVID-19, Kansas State Research and Extension

Best Practices for Volunteer Engagement During COVID-19, Kansas Volunteer Commission

Additional Resources:

Here are some resources from around the country. Check with your local and state health department for current recommendations. 

Business Continuity Planning Resources, Ready.gov, U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Independent Grocery, National Grocers Association (NGA)

Guidance for the Food Industry: Coronavirus Outbreak, Best Practices and Planning for the Immediate Situation,  The Food Industry Association (FMI)

COVID-19/Emergency 14-Day Meal Kit for Rural Grocery Stores, University of Minnesota Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships

Guideline for Communicating during emergencies like COVID-19, LiveWell Colorado

Tips for Small Town Stores: Curbside Pickup and Delivery Model, University of Minnesota Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships

Ways that rural communities are adapting to COVID-19

Rural communities are innovating in order to address the needs of their communities. Here are some examples:

  • Ellsworth County Economic Development worked with Gene's Heartland Foods in Ellsworth, KS to develop an online grocer ordering system and is strongly encouraging shoppers to use the online of call-in options to do their grocery shopping.  
  • Providing priority shopping hours for senior citizens from 6 - 7 AM like at G&W Foods.
  • Cecil K's Hometown Market in Holton, KS is provided daily updates live on facebook at 10:15 (Central) every day.
  • Shared letters to communicate how the store is adapting to address concerns related to COVID-19.  Examples include:
  • The Garden of Eden in Little River added directional arrows to their grocery aisles to ensure customers and staff are maintaining at least 6 feet apart at all times. 

Garden of Eden Little River

  • Restaurants in rural communities like Pretty Prairie and Arlington that do not have grocery stores in their town are adjusting their offerings to include groceries.
What is your rural grocery doing to go above and beyond in response to COVID-19?  Send your examples to rgi@ksu.edu.