Shopping rush closes Home Storage Center

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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) -- The rush on emergency food supplies at the Home Storage Center have been so brisk there's not enough inventory to keep the doors open.
Beth and Norman Ross co-manage the Home Storage Center at 580 Reactor Way in Reno. It stands east of the Reno-Tahoe International Airport.
Norman says sales picked up dramatically in December when COVID-19 was first reported.

Home Storage Center co-managers Beth and Norman Ross look at the empty shelves left by a rush of shoppers eager to buy emergency food supplies as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"It's been like a panic to be honest with you," said Norman.

"It seemed like they were nervous. They were scared. They want to take care of their families," said Beth.

"That's when we started getting very large orders. Some people would buy $1,400 worth of product at one time," Norman said.

Eventually shoppers purchased everything except some wheat, hot chocolate, and berry drink mix left.

A shipment earlier this week has refilled some of the pallets, but the new supply is not enough to reopen.

Norman said, "Before the pandemic hit every spot that has a pallet on was at least four to five layers deep." Now, most pallets are empty.

Both Norman and Beth say they expect to reopen by April 15, 2020.
All the products are sold at cost. There is no markup because the Home Storage Center is run and operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with a mission to help build strong communities and families.    

"Anybody can come and buy," said Norman.

"We're here to serve our fellowman," said Beth.

Copyright KOLO-TV 2020