CINCINNATI (FOX19) - If you pay with cash at one of Kroger’s cashier checkouts, you won’t be getting coin change for a while, and it’s indirectly due to the coronavirus.
Kroger spokesperson Erin Rofles confirmed Friday the grocer will no longer return coin change to customers. Instead, the remainders from cash transactions will be applied to customers’ loyalty cards and automatically used on their next purchase.
Customers are also encouraged to ‘Round Up’ to support the company’s Zero Hunger/Zero Waste Foundation.
The reason for the change in policy, according to Rofles, has to do with the Federal Reserve’s current coin shortage.
A Federal Reserve news release from June 11 explains the pandemic has “significantly disrupted the supply chain and normal circulation patterns for U.S. coin.”
Fed Chair Jerome H. Powell explained the issue June 17 in a hearing before the House Financial Services Committee, according to the Washington Post. The paper quotes him as saying:
“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. We’re well aware of this. … As the economy reopens, we’re seeing coins begin to move around again.”
At the same time, the Federal Reserve said its measures intended to replenish coin inventory won’t be enough to solve the shortage in the near-term.
The upshot? If you go to Kroger, for now you can forget your change purse.