(WTNH) — We are celebrating a brand-new holiday today — It’s Supermarket Employee Day! 

“It’s great to see some recognition for not only my team but the industry, at a time where everybody’s challenged,” said Patrick Keane, store director for the Big Y in North Haven. 

The ones that keep our grocery stores up and running are accustomed to working through tough conditions, but nothing quite like this.

“We’re always here for everyone when it’s a snow scare, a hurricane,” said Keane, “this is like nothing else anyone has seen.”

Now, a new holiday is meant to recognize the staff that have kept families fed through the pandemic.

“Basically, we’re heroes,” said head cashier Paul Rosa, who has worked at the store for about two decades. “We took that role on in March of last year and we’ve just continued on with it.”

Keane says his shoppers show their gratitude — not just today, but every day since the start of the pandemic. “‘Thank you’ goes a little bit, but when everybody, the customers, come in and say thank you, it kind of helps you get through the day,” he said.

“We have a lot on our shoulders,” said Rosa, “but for us, the most important is our customers and our community.”