LENGTHY queues of elderly shoppers snaked from Hunter supermarkets on Tuesday as a dedicated hour for vulnerable shoppers came into force.
Reports from Woolworths outlets in the Hunter indicated long lines that began an hour before the doors opened after panic buyers left shelves stripped of essentials including toilet paper.
Huntlee's Jodie Millgate had roamed to Newcastle and Lake Macquarie by 7am on Tuesday in a bid to do her normal shopping and said she was shocked at the lengthy lines.
"You feel like everyone's looking at you like you are the panic buyer but I was just trying to do my normal shop," she said.
Ms Millgate filmed the scenes at Glendale about 7am, an hour before the doors opened for the elderly and those with disabilities only in a bid to give them first chance to secure what they needed.
By 11am the 33 seconds of footage had been shared almost 500 times, drawing comments from shoppers who said similar crowds had formed in places including Green Hills.
They also included several suggestions for people to check in on elderly friends and neighbours to see if they needed any staples.
Ms Millgate said she filmed the line in a bid to show people the ramifications of panic buying on those who could least afford it.
"All the affordable meals, like your mince, has gone first," she said.
"It's literally everywhere," she said.
Ms Millgate said the supermarket chain's measure was a noble one, but the need for long lines to gain essentials also meant they faced risk.
"All our elderly people are now at risk because they're coming out in public and standing in these lines just to get their basics," she said.
"It really was hard to see. They're the most at risk and they've been forced to line up."
"Us younger ones, we can afford to go to 100 shops. Some of these people probably had to catch the bus. It's really sad in all areas of it."