Stop & Shop and Market Basket stores are offering special senior citizen shopping hours, starting Thursday, March 19, so older people can buy groceries and keep the recommended distance from others during this time of concern about the spread of coronavirus.
Stop & Shop will only be allowing people age 60 and over in to shop every day from 6 to 7:30 a.m.
Market Basket said on its Facebook page it would have special shopping hours from 5:30 to 7 a.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday for people age 60 and over.
"This is designed to enable these members of our community who are at greater risk ... to shop in a less crowded environment which enables social distancing," according to the Market Basket statement.
For Stop & Shop, company president Gordon Reid posted on Facebook, "Now, more than ever, it’s important we come together as a community to support each other during challenging times. Part of that is showing compassion and care for some of our neighbors who are most vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus," those who are age 60 and older.
"We’re making the decision to offer this every day of the week to allow for community members in this age category to shop in a less crowded environment, which better enables social distancing. They’ll also be shopping prior to any other customers entering," his statement said.
Beginning Thursday, people age 60 and older can use a designated entrance, which will be marked at their local store, starting at 6 a.m.
"Although we will not be requesting ID for entry, we ask that you please respect the purpose of the early opening — and do the right thing for your neighbors. Store associates do reserve the right to ask customers to leave if they are not a member of this age group."
The company said it will continue offering home delivery to all customers as well.
Staff writer Jim Sullivan may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.