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


Seniors shop for groceries during special hours open to seniors and the disabled only at Northgate Gonzalez Market, a Hispanic specialty supermarket, on March 19, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) — 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.

Save Mart and FoodMaxx have set aside two hours every Tuesday and Thursday morning for seniors and vulnerable populations.

Whole Foods will dedicate an hour before opening, while Vons will have time set aside from 7 until 9 a.m. 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.

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

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 in a tweet that it wasn’t “qualifying a specific age” for the set-aside time.

Save Mart and FoodMaxx: All locations have set aside every Tuesday and Thursday from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. for higher risk populations to shop. This includes seniors and vulnerable populations, such as pregnant women and those with compromised immune systems.

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.” 

The Market: Starting Thursday, the grocery store on 7088 N West Ave. will be open from 8 to 9 a.m. for shoppers over 60 years old.

VonsFrom 7 a.m. 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.” 

Vallarta SupermarketsStarting Wednesday, all locations will be open from 7 a.m. 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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