If you shop at Kroger and pay with cash, don’t expect to receive any coins in your change.
The grocery store chain says it will automatically add any amount due to customers’ loyalty cards and the amount will be applied to their next purchase. Customers can also “round up” to support the grocer’s Zero Hunger/Zero Waste Foundation.
The move is due to a national coin shortage, which is tied to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Like many organizations, the U.S. Mint cut production this spring to help shield employees from the virus. At the same time, with the shutdown of many businesses, coins stopped circulating in the economy. The entire coin supply chain experienced something of a meltdown.
In June, coins to banks began being rationed, and in turn, retailers also had limited access to coins.
“We’re working with the mint to increase supply, and we’re working with the reserve banks to get that supply where it needs to be,” Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell told the House Financial Services Committee in June. “So, we think it’s a temporary situation.”
How long the temporary shortage will continue is anyone’s guess.