According to reports by FOX Cincinnati, Kroger won’t be giving anymore coin change at their stores due to the pandemic interfering with the distribution of coin supplies.
Erin Rolfes, the spokesperson for Kroger, confirmed on July 11 that the grocer will stop giving coin change to its customers. To compensate for this, any remaining change from cash transactions will be transferred to the customers’ loyalty cards and will be used towards their next transaction.
The company also has a Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation, which they encouraged their customers to “round up” support for.
This change of store policy is, according to Rolfes, a direct result of the Federal Reserve’s current coin shortage.
Meanwhile, a news release by the Federal Reserve in the second week of June stated that the COVID-19 Pandemic has “significantly disrupted the supply chain and normal circulation patterns for US coins.”
On June 17, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said during a virtual hearing with the House Financial Services Committee: “What’s happened is that, with the partial closure of the economy, the flow of coins through the economy has gotten all — it’s kind of stopped.” He then added: “The places where you go to give your coins, and get credit at the store and get cash — you know, folding money — those have not been working, stores have been closed. So the whole system has kind of, had come to a stop.”
The Federal Reserve said that it is working with the US Mint and Reserve Banks in order to try and restore the balance in distribution of coins across credit unions and banks via “strategic allocation of coin inventories.”
Though the pandemic is ongoing, Powell has noted that the Federal Reserve expects the coin shortage to be temporary as the country slowly reopens and its citizens begin spending money once more.