‘Supermarket Employee Day’ honors workers across Kentucky

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Grocery store workers have shown the world that traditionally undervalued jobs are essential.

That’s why Governor Andy Beshear has declared February 22 ‘Supermarket Employee Day’ in Kentucky to recognize their hard work during the pandemic.

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At Critchfield Meats in Lexington, cashier Holly Meeks says she appreciates the honor, but she feels the love year-round.

“The first thing you need to see is somebody smiling,” Meeks said.

That warm greeting and friendly face is one of the many reasons Meeks says customers appreciate her on a daily basis.

“I get a lot of people that look for me because I’m willing to help them, always answer their questions and just take good care of them,” Meeks said.

She admits it’s a bit harder to share that smile behind a mask, but customers can tell she’s happy to see them.

Meeks says she knows shoppers are thankful for all the staffers – from those making the highly acclaimed Lexington-famous fried chicken – to those stocking the shelves.

She says they were very grateful when Critchfield starting selling toilet paper – a rare commodity at the start of the pandemic.

“That’s something usually they don’t ask me for – tomahawk steaks, filet mignon maybe – but, ‘hey you got toilet paper?’ But, we did and it really made people happy. They were like, ‘Critchfield’s always finds a way to take care of the customer.’

Assistant Manager Jacob Moore says neither he, nor anyone else, even knew it was ‘Supermarket Employee Appreciation Day Monday, and now plans to give free lunches to all workers.

“The community has really been behind us the entire time, so it’s not a whole lot different from what we’ve experienced so far, but it’s really nice to put a name on it and have a day for it,” Moore said.

He said he hopes his employees know they’re appreciated every day.

“The Critchfield family, all of the managers, they’re really wonderful,” Meeks said. “I don’t just say that – I know I’m an employee. I know its like, ‘yeah you gotta say that.’ I don’t have to say that. They really are.”

That’s something Meeks is thankful for, herself.