When you gotta go, you gotta go.
In a new twist on serving his constituents’ needs during the coronavirus pandemic, Wyoming County Commissioner Tom Henry showed up 10 minutes late for Thursday’s special commissioners meeting blurting out that the county jail in Tunkhannock was nearly out of toilet paper.
He shared that the warden said the last two orders were not filled this month and neither wanted to contemplate a worst-case scenario.
So he got on the phone with the Procter & Gamble family care plant in Mehoopany and thought he could just borrow a few dozen Charmin rolls.
Would that life could be that easy, but Henry said it couldn’t be pulled off quite that quickly.
So, he turned to Scott Kresge at one of the region’s toilet paper producers, Lake Paper, of Tunkhannock, and crisis averted with 96 rolls of the Century brand picked up.
“Thank goodness for those folks,” Henry said. “They saved us.”
This region is blessed also with Cascades Tissue Group in Ransom and Select Tissue in Vandling, to meet area consumers’ needs.
But nobody produces as much toilet paper as the mammoth P&G facility in Mehoopany, largest of Procter & Gamble’s six Charmin manufacturing sites nationwide, and “We started to see a spike in demand about two weeks ago,” said Loren Fanroy, Charmin brand Communications Manager, in Cincinnati. “We are producing and shipping P&G Family Care products, including Charmin, at record high levels.”
She noted Friday that demand continues to outpace supply
Fanroy added, “The company is working diligently to get product to retailers as fast as humanly possible so everyone can continue to Enjoy the Go. We are prioritizing our bestselling sizes to maximize the amount of product we can ship to retailers, and we remain focused on making sure our products are available when and where people shop during this highly dynamic situation. We continue to manufacture and ship Charmin to our retailers, and that is our main priority at this time.”
The production in a plant as big as the Mehoopany one also takes lots of manpower, she said. “We have put in place rigorous protocols to prevent and minimize transmission. These protocols are in line with WHO and CDC recommendations, and were developed with our team of in-house medical experts, and are continually refined as we learn more about the epidemic.”
That means the plant is practicing some social distancing.
“We have constant sanitization of all areas, including cleaning every four hours and surface disinfection, exceeding the most rigorous standards as defined by the health authorities,” said Fanroy.
The plant in Mehoopany has been allowed to stay open in light of Gov. Tom Wolf’s strict order Thursday afternoon on other business sectors.
“Our manufacturing and distribution facilities in Mehoopany remain open as we work to serve consumers through this crisis,” said Damon Jones, chief communications officer at Procter & Gamble corporate headquarters in Cincinnati. “The order from the Pennsylvania governor specified industries which will remain open, including ours.”
The Family Care plant of the P&G-Mehoopany facility oversees production of paper products with the Charmin and Bounty brand name.