Safeway, Target, more grocery stores designate shopping time for seniors, vulnerable during pandemic

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SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – Bigger grocery chain stores are stepping up and setting aside earlier hours for the people most vulnerable to the coronavirus – the elderly and people with compromised immune systems.

Whole Foods will dedicate an hour before opening, while Safeway will have time set aside from 7 until 9 on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Target will have the first hour of being open, as well as Dollar General.

This is going to be tremendously helpful to these people so that they don’t get infected.

Now they can avoid lines and crowds and the store will be mostly stocked, since panic shoppers have left many shelves bare.

One more local grocery store in San Jose, Zanotto’s Market, was ahead of the curve.

Here’s a list of stores and their hours dedicated to serving seniors and the vulnerable:

AlbertsonsFrom 7 to 9 a.m. on Tuesday and Thursday, the company is reserving time for “those vulnerable shoppers who must leave home to obtain their groceries, unless otherwise locally mandated.” Find the full list of Albertsons companies stores here.

Dollar GeneralThe Goodlettsville, Tennessee-based discount chain announced it is dedicating the first hour in its more than 16,000 stores in 44 states to help senior shoppers “avoid busier and more crowded shopping periods.” The retailer said said in a tweet that it wasn’t “qualifying a specific age” for the set-aside time.

Fresh MarketThe grocer, which has 159 stores in 22 states, is reserving the first hour stores open, from 8 to 9 a.m. for “seniors and those most at risk” Monday through Friday. 

Gelson’s: Starting Wednesdays, seniors 65 and older can shop from 7 to 8 a.m. “You may be asked for ID,” the California grocer said on its website.

Mother’s MarketsThe California-based company is starting “Safe Shop Wednesdays” and is opening from 6 to 7 a.m. every Wednesday for “elderly, disabled, those with compromised immune systems, chemo patients, etc.” It’s also offering free home delivery for the high-risk groups with promo code FREE4SENIORS.

SafewayFrom 7 to 9 a.m. on Tuesday and Thursday, the company is reserving time for “those vulnerable shoppers who must leave home to obtain their groceries, unless otherwise locally mandated.” 

Stop & Shop: Starting Thursday, the retailer, which has more than 400 stores throughout Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York and New Jersey, will give shoppers 60 and older 90 minutes to shop each morning from 6 to 7:30 a.m., according to the Asbury Park Press, part of the USA TODAY Network. Stop & Shop said the dedicated time better enables social distancing and there would be a designated entrance for seniors.

Target: Starting Wednesday, the retailer will “reserve the first hour of shopping each Wednesday at stores nationwide for vulnerable guests,” Target said, adding it is “encouraging other guests to plan their shopping trips around this timeframe.” 

Vallarta SupermarketsStarting Wednesday, all locations will be open from 7 to 8 a.m. for shoppers 65-plus, pregnant women and those with disabilities, the grocer said in a Facebook post.

Whole Foods Market: Starting Wednesday, all Whole Foods Market stores in the U.S. and Canada will let customers who are 60 and older shop one hour before opening to the public.

This list will be updated as necessary.

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