We lived on Orcas island during 9/11. We dealt with the worry and concern of limited ferry service, the Coast Guard monitoring the waterways and goods limited as well. Islanders were gathering as a community to get through the crisis. We were so impressed by islanders being considerate of their friends and neighbors.

Now, we are on San Juan island, we live aboard a sailboat. We have lived comfortably and kept our supplies limited. We buy fresh foods every other day as we only have a dorm size fridge. After being down with the flu for a few weeks and self-quarantined on our boat, we finally got a chance to replenish our supplies.

On Friday the 13th, I went into Market Place for about five items. I was more than horrified at the amount of shoppers that had their baskets full to the top. I asked one lady, am I missing something here? I am writing today to remind people this is an island community and we need to make sure that we have enough supplies for everyone. I told my husband we may be vegetarians by the end of the month!

So I hope people hear this letter and take this to heart:

As islanders, please purchase only what you need and do not hoard products. This will help support the health and well-being of our community. During times of community-spread illness, it is critical for our communal health that all people can find the products they need to support their health and the health of their families. This is not possible if a few people purchase more than they need.

Local stores should monitoring purchases so that there are enough goods for all. As the only major suppliers of grocery items on the island, the stores have a responsibility to the community to limit the number of all items, so that all of their customers can be served by being able to purchase essential items such as food and toilet paper.

Thank you,

Jenni Berringer

San Juan Island