Good news for seniors and those more vulnerable to COVID-19: major grocery stores will now have special hours where seniors can come in early and get their shopping done. Since shelves are usually restocked at night, older Americans will get a chance to purchase items that have been unavailable.
Since the coronavirus pandemic began, many people have been “panic shopping” and cleaning out stores of essential supplies such as toilet paper, paper towels, milk, eggs, meat, pasta, and over-the-counter medications.
With these new senior hours which start this week, older Americans will be able to shop early and avoid exposure to crowds. Seniors, those with preexisting conditions, and those who are immunocompromised are more vulnerable to COVID-19.
New grocery store hours offered
Here are a list of some of the major stores that have announced new hours for seniors:
Costco: Tuesdays and Thursdays 8 am to 9 am for those 60 and older. Their pharmacy will be open as well.
Walgreens: Tuesdays 8 am to 9 am for seniors, caregivers, and families. Senior discount on Tuesdays. Walgreens is also offering free shipping for seniors as well as expanded drive-thru service.
Albertsons, Vons, Safeway, Acme: Opening two hours early on Tuesday and Thursday mornings for seniors, pregnant women, and people who are immunocompromised
Whole Foods: Opening one hour earlier than normal for those 60 and older to shop, as well as closing earlier to give staff time to restock, sanitize, and rest. Visit their website for specific information.
Dollar General: First hour of business open to senior shoppers. They will also close an hour early.
Aldi: Tuesdays and Thursdays will open at 8:30 am, and the first hour of shopping will be for seniors, pregnant women, and those vulnerable to the disease.
Publix: Tuesdays and Wednesdays 7 am to 8 am will be reserved for shoppers over 65. The pharmacy will be open as well.
Trader Joe’s: A separate line for seniors to enter from 9 am to 10 am daily.
Target: The first hour of shopping on Wednesdays; also closing early at 9 pm for cleaning and restocking.
Walmart: Opening early every day at 7 am, and reserving Tuesday mornings one hour early at 6 am for senior shoppers. Walmart will also close at 8:30 pm for cleaning and restocking.
The Fresh Market: Opening 8 am to 9 am weekdays for seniors and at-risk people.
Stop & Shop: Reserving 6 am to 7:30 am for seniors.
Limits on high-demand items
To help matters, many stores are limiting the amount one can buy of certain items, such as toilet paper and paper towels, which are notoriously missing from many stores. Other items people are stockpiling include diapers, hand sanitizer, Lysol and Clorox wipes, rice, and pasta.
Check with your local favorite stores to see what their plans are for you. Also, Snopes features a comprehensive list of many grocery stores’ policies across the country. As always, keep a safe six feet distance from others. Some people are even choosing to wear gloves and a mask when they venture out to shop.
Some experts are worried that too many seniors shopping together at the same time will be risky to their health. Certain stores are limiting the amount of people that can come in at one time. Shoppers should always keep a safe distance between themselves and others.
If you are worried about going to the store, most groceries are offering delivery services such as Instacart and Shipt, or you can get a friend or loved one to do some shopping for you. Programs such as Meals on Wheels are also offering increased food delivery during this time.