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Kroger, Fresh Thyme, Hy-Vee to hire employees amid coronavirus demands
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Kroger, Fresh Thyme, Hy-Vee to hire employees amid coronavirus demands

BLOOMINGTON — While some stores and restaurants closed, many employees are left short on hours or out of a job, but high demand for groceries has a few national chains bringing in extra help.

Kroger announced Thursday the company is hiring 10,000 associates nationwide with 100 openings in the Illinois district help stores as the coronavirus outbreak spreads. Fresh Thyme Farmers Market and Hy-Vee are among other chains also hiring.

“The new hires will join current Kroger associates who are doing remarkable work in the most difficult circumstances,” said Eric Halvorson, corporate affairs manager for Kroger’s central division. “They are our industry’s heroic, first-responders and we are grateful for their dedication to our customers.”

Currently, Kroger on Oakland Avenue and on Main Street in Bloomington each have two openings listed online; the College Avenue location in Normal has three openings listed.

It is not yet known if additional openings will be added at Bloomington-Normal Kroger stores.

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New hires may help with extra cleaning and stocking as the company works to keep the shelves filled and stores safe.

“Granted, we are not yet where we want to be. But, we are making progress,” Halverson said in an email Thursday. “There is food in the supply chain and we are moving it as fast as we can.”

Fresh Thyme Farmers Market also announced this week additional seasonal workers will join the company given the "unprecedented demand" for products in the stores.

"We are looking to add more friendly, helpful team members to ensure our ability to take care of our customers, and this includes our store in Bloomington. We hope this will also assist some of those in our community who may have lost jobs due to business closings," according to a company statement.

Four job openings are listed online for the Fresh Thyme at 403 N. Veterans Parkway in Bloomington: meat clerk, fresh associate, assistant food service manager and food service associate.

“With all our teams are doing, we can still use more help,” said Fresh Thyme President Gerald Melville in a statement Wednesday.

Hy-Vee, which has a store in Bloomington, is looking for temporary, part-time hourly employees to help fill positions in stores and its distribution centers in Chariton, Iowa, and Cherokee, Iowa.

The workers will help with help with restocking as well as cleaning and sanitizing. Visit www.hy-vee.com/careers or text SMILES to 97211.

Contact Kelsey Watznauer at (309) 820-3254. Follow her on Twitter: @kwatznauer.

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