As state and local officials advise older Americans to stay indoors and away from crowds amid coronavirus concerns, supermarkets are working to accommodate their needs.
This week, Vallarta, an American supermarket chain that caters to Latino customers,
began opening its doors from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. exclusively for at-risk groups including 65-year-old Angela Martinez.
“I’m elderly. I’m by myself and thank God Vallarta was gracious enough to have it open for seniors today. I’m really grateful for that,” Martinez said.
The idea is to give at-risk groups the chance to shop in a safe, hassle-free space. Pregnant women and people with disabilities can also shop during the morning hours. Jazmin Soto has five kids and one on the way.
“I’m feeling a little desperate because I have kids at home and I can’t really stand in line for long periods of time. I get tired and I also don't want to be around a lot of people,” Soto said.
Dozens of shoppers showed up on the first day, but Vallarta says the numbers will likely even out and allow at-risk groups to shop without the large crowds. The store says it will provide this added service for as long as it’s needed.
Savemart, Foodmaxx and Lucky have also opened their doors every Tuesday and Thursday from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. for higher risk populations to shop.