The coronavirus pandemic has altered life for Americans significantly. Stores have changed hours, popular destinations closed indefinitely, and people have changed to using social distancing measures to help slow the spread of Covid-19, including using cards instead of cash for many transactions. According to Newsweek, the Federal Reserve is currently experiencing a coin shortage due to coronavirus, and because of that, grocery chain Kroger has decided to temporarily stop giving coins as change.
Kroger Halts Giving Coins as Change, Blaming Coin Shortage
According to Fox News, grocer Kroger will no longer give coins back on cash transactions. Instead, coin change will be added to the customers' loyalty card which can be applied to their next purchase. Customers may also take part in the "Round Up" program to support the company's Zero Hunger/Zero Waste Foundation, by rounding up their purchase to the next dollar.
"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," Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said during a virtual hearing with the House Financial Services Committee on June 17. "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 good thing is you won't have to bring your change purse to Kroger's cashier checkouts for the near-term. The Federal Reserve's current coin shortage is said to resume to normal circulation patterns and a normal coin inventory once the economy opens fully. To keep workers safe, the U.S. mint is not manufacturing as many coins due to fewer employees.