While the COVID-19 pandemic has forced many businesses to temporarily close or lay off workers, grocery stores and online retailers are hiring to fulfill increased demand.

Several businesses are hiring aggressively and working to make the hiring process go as smoothly and quickly as possible for applicants:

Hy-Vee

Hy-Vee is hiring dozens of temporary workers across its three Columbia stores to help with an increase in business due to COVID-19.

“Those who may have temporarily lost their job due to the current pandemic, are out of school, want to make additional money, or simply want to help during this time are welcome to apply,” the company said in a March 20 news release.

Applicants can find specific job listings online, or text SMILES to 97211 to chat with a recruiter. While each job is listed only once online, stores may hire multiple people for each position, Hy-Vee spokesperson Christina Gayman said.

Lucky’s Market

Lucky’s Market is hiring for temporary and permanent positions at its Columbia location. Vice President of Operations Joshua Lydick said the store has already hired four new workers displaced from their previous job because of the virus.

Applicants can find a list of job openings online. Lydick said that recently, the store has been receiving six or seven new applications each day.

MidwayUSA

Like other online retailers, MidwayUSA has seen an increase in orders since COVID-19 has forced shoppers to stay home, Vice President of Marketing Jeff Larkin said. The company, which shells ammunition and shooting and hunting accessories, is hiring people to work in its warehouse and in other departments. An updated list of openings can be found on its website.

Larkin said the company is screening employees throughout the hiring process to reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus to new and existing employees.

Walmart

Walmart is hiring 150,000 people in full-time, part-time and temporary positions in stores and distribution centers nationwide, according to a March 23 news release.

The Walmart distribution center in Moberly is also hiring. Distribution center employees start between $17 and $18 per hour.

Applicants can be hired, trained and working within 24 hours of submitting their application, the news release states.

Schnucks

Schnucks is hiring at all of its grocery store locations, and the Schnucks website greets visitors with a screen-covering banner announcing the company’s openings. Applicants are encouraged to apply online, and temporary positions are available.

The company has received more than 500 applications across all of its stores in the past two weeks, spokesperson Paul Simon said.

The chain has “seen unprecedented demand” as residents seek to ensure they’re well-stocked on groceries and household items, according to a news release from CEO Todd Schnuck.

Instacart

Instacart, an online grocery delivery service, announced in a news release Monday that it intends to bring on 300,000 new “personal shoppers” in the coming months. Shoppers are the couriers who pick up groceries from participating markets and deliver them to customers.

Applicants can sign up online to be a part of this mass hiring as the company more than doubles its pool of shoppers in response to demand. “In the last few weeks, the company has seen order volume grow by more than 150% year-over-year,” the company said in a news release.

For more COVID-19 related news, see our section dedicated to COVID-19 updates.
  • Public health and safety reporter, spring 2020. Studying news reporting. Reach me at cgiffin@mail.missouri.edu, or in the newsroom at 882-5700.

  • State government reporter, spring 2020. I am a senior studying investigative journalism and international studies. You can reach me at mgmcvan@mail.missouri.edu.

  • I've been a reporter and editor at Missouri community newspapers for 35 years and joined the Columbia Missourian in 2003. My emphasis at the Missourian is on local government and elections. You can reach me at swaffords@missouri.edu or at 573-884-5366.

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