While many businesses have had to furlough or lay off workers due to the coronavirus pandemic, most chains that sell groceries have not. Kroger (KR -0.49%) has already added 23,500 new workers, and now it says it plans to hire 20,000 more in its stores and its distribution centers.

It will take the company a few weeks to fill the positions, but it's using an "expedited hiring process," according to a press release.

A Kroger worker stocks a freezer.

Kroger is adding 20,000 more workers. Image source: Kroger.

What is Kroger doing?

The grocery chain needs workers to meet increased demand. It's a challenge to get items from its warehouses to its store shelves in a timely fashion, given how people are currently shopping.

"Kroger's top priority continues to be uplifting our associates and serving our communities, whether that's by ensuring customers always can find food and products on our shelves or by providing a nearly immediate job opportunity to help an unemployed person to begin working again," Kroger's Chief People Officer Tim Massa said in a press release. "During this time of uncertainty, Kroger is committed to remaining a constant."

It now takes Kroger 72 hours to hire and onboard new workers. The grocery chain pays an average hourly rate of $15, $20 in total value when you factor in benefits, according to the company.

Putting people to work

Kroger has been working with restaurant industry groups to give furloughed workers a job -- even if it only ends up being temporary. That's a very important service for the company to offer and it's clearly a triple win as people need jobs, customers need food, and Kroger needs quality people to keep its stores going.