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When mum-of-16 Jeni bought a pack of toilet paper, another shopper shamed her.

But when mum Jeni Bonell went to do her weekly shop earlier this month, she never expected to be shamed for buying the household necessity.

The usually-mundane item has become Australia’s hottest commodity in recent weeks, as thousands of shoppers rushed to supermarkets to stock up on essential items amid worries of self-isolation or quarantine due to COVID-19.

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Jeni is a mother-of-16, so her weekly shops always look a bit well, huge, but the panic-buying of others led to her being judged for buying just one nine pack of toilet tissue, she told Mamamia.

On March 6, Jeni posted to her Facebook page about how another shopper said, loud enough for her to hear, “Well, there goes all the toilet paper now, hmmmmpffff” in the line for the checkout.

“I will not apologise for buying toilet paper for my family which is undoubtedly bigger than yours,” Jeni wrote on Facebook.

“And I will not let you make me feel guilty about it one little bit.

“Perhaps taking a deep breath would help, or try smiling.”

It was especially surprising as Jeni was only buying a nine-pack, giving a pensioner couple the last large pack on the shelf in case they were less mobile than her.

Her family usually uses a 12-pack each week.

Speaking to Mamamia, Jeni said she was “really saddened” by the stranger’s remark.

“I believe we can be kinder to each other, especially over something as basic as buying toilet paper,” she said.

“I just wanted to get out of the shop and go home. Nobody has the right to judge others the way that she did.”

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Image: Facebook.

Jeni wrote that she believed the world was suffering from a pandemic - and not just a viral one.

"There's been another one that's been brewing for a long time, and that's a worldwide lack of good manners with a symptom of unkindness that seems to accompany it."

In a 2019 interview, Jeni told Mamamia 11 of the Bonell kids still lived at home, so weekly meals and grocery shopping wasn't exactly an easy task.

Their average grocery bill varies, but it’s usually around $600 a week.

During the week, the Bonell family go through as much as 50 litres of milk each week and at least one to two loaves of bread each day.

"It's hard to say exactly how much of each item we use as when I grocery shop I stockpile by buying items when they’re on sale," Jeni said.

"I buy in bulk and store large quantities of products and that’s how we save money in our budget."

As COVID-19 is not going anywhere She was concerned panic-buying would become worse as the impact of the coronavirus continues to increase.

"I just want to encourage people to stay calm and look after each other and we can all get through this together," she said.

"Let's fight the virus, not each other."

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