As we all know, the ongoing public health emergency continues to put strain on our state's supply lines. Child care providers in various areas of Nebraska have reported difficulty finding the food and supplies they need to ensure their programs deliver safe, clean environments and meet the nutritional needs of young children in care.
We reached out to the Nebraska Grocery Industry Association and they are more than ready to work with child care providers to help them acquire the products and quantities they need to remain in operation. This especially applies to basic staples like milk, formula, paper products and other supplies. Here are some general guidelines we received on what you can do to get access to needed products for your child care program:
- Reach out to your local grocery owner/operator in advance. In most cases you can ask that an order be placed specifically for your program so the supplies you need are set aside and don't get added to the store's general inventory.
- Place your orders with grocers at least a week in advance. Be sure to order the products and quantities your need for two weeks at a time. This will help avoid gaps in your supplies before they arrive back in your local grocery store.
- Ask your grocer for a specific day and time to pick up your order, or check to see if your grocer offers a delivery option to minimize disruptions in the operation of your program or personal schedule.
These guidelines should help minimize problems with limitations on the number of products you can purchase and help ensure they are available for your program. Remember that store owners and operators are facing their own limitations in the products they can readily obtain during the ongoing emergency. The important thing is to communicate in advance with your local grocer about your program and the supplies you need to keep your child care business open.