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Commentary: Support home delivery of beer and wine in SC

Jennifer Sparks Jones

Jennifer Sparks Jones

When COVID-19 reached South Carolina, our family was hit hard. Like so many of you, we had to adjust to a new normal. But we have remained grateful for small blessings.

For example, small blessings like grocery delivery apps made it possible for our family, with loved ones who are among the most vulnerable to sickness, to have the groceries we need delivered to our house.

The peace of mind that came with being able to have more ways to shop and get groceries delivered safely as a pandemic ravaged the country was invaluable. We remain thankful for these opportunities.

We will continue using delivery apps, such as Shipt, even as South Carolina reopens because of the safety and convenience they offer. Not only do shoppers, who observe public health-focused protocols, help us avoid exposing vulnerable family members to unnecessary infections, they also provide busy parents, professionals and others with relief, when they simply do not have time to make it to the store.

But, even as we return to normal, there is a critical effort underway in the General Assembly that would make using delivery apps even more convenient.

This would be a game-changer for businesses and families. We are already proud of the way businesses have adapted during the pandemic, offering delivery options for a variety of products. But, as one local grocery store manager said in a recent television interview, customers have been asking grocers when they can count on safe delivery of beer and wine. While it is a tremendous benefit to be able to count on a grocery delivery app for many essential needs, it is more than inconvenient to have to go back out to pick up beer and wine.

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Elected officials in Columbia are listening to these customers, their constituents, and that is something we can all be excited about.

Of course, some may have questions about a safe delivery bill. For example, a few have suggested that it would make it easier for minors to access alcohol. However, lawmakers have taken these concerns into consideration and mitigated them.

State Rep. Beth Bernstein, a champion of this bill in the House, and state Sen. Ross Turner, a champion in the Senate, have worked with their colleagues to ensure measures are in place to help prevent the delivery of alcohol to minors. The bill would establish rules for home delivery of beer and wine across the state, requiring multiple layers of checks and balances to help make sure deliveries of alcohol are made only to adults of legal drinking age.

I am grateful this bill has passed the House. Now, the Senate has work to do. As senators weigh a vote on this legislation, it is critically important for them to hear directly from constituents about why they support the safe delivery of beer and wine. Your voice can make a difference.

Please contact your senator directly or through safedeliverysc.com and ask them to support safe delivery of beer and wine.

Jennifer Sparks Jones lives in Columbia with her family.

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