Saskatchewan

Sask. advocate asks shoppers only buy what's needed, stop hoarding

Murray Giesbrecht says vulnerable populations can't get necessities because people with means are hoarding items.

Murray Giesbrecht says vulnerable populations can't get necessities because people with means are hoarding

People had bought out a large section of Mike's Independent Grocer in Regina on March 16, 2020. (Kirk Fraser/CBC)

A Regina advocate is warning that hoarding during the COVID-19 pandemic causes more problems for vulnerable populations. 

"It's really troubling," Murray Giesbrecht, executive director of the North Central Community Association, said.

Giesbrecht said he has seen first hand how a lack of access to supplies such as hand sanitizer, wipes, cleaning products and toilet paper affects people. 

He said the elderly, low-income earners, people on assistance and people without transportation are the most at-risk for issues caused by other people hoarding goods. 

"This whole thing really has revealed some gaps for people living in this city," Giesbrecht said. "There are a lot of folks that just don't have the option to travel across the city."

He said he recently saw two women that couldn't find anything at the local store in North Central and had no way to travel to a different store.

Murray Giesbrecht is the executive director of the North Central Community Association. (Matt Howard/CBC)

Giesbrecht said people should take only what they will use at the time. 

"We want to try to approach this as calmly as we possibly can and we don't want to build anxiety for other people when they can't get just these basic resources that they need," he said.

Giesbrecht said people need to have some faith in Saskatchewan's infrastructure.

"We're a strong people, we're a strong city, we're a strong province," Giesbrecht said. 

"If we're willing to show some empathy and compassion toward those that don't have those resources I think we can get through this."

With files from The Morning Edition

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