Walmart Is Reserving a Special Grocery Pickup Hour for Seniors and At-Risk Shoppers

Amanda Garrity
Photo credit: Wolterk - Getty Images

From Good Housekeeping

As the number of coronavirus cases continues to increase, White House officials are advising that everyone should put a pause on grocery shopping and running errands unless it's absolutely necessary. The spread of COVID-19 in the U.S. is expected to peak in the next two weeks, which means it is crucial to avoid going to the pharmacy or the grocery store if you can. But if it can't be avoided, grocery stores are doing their part to make sure that everyone — seniors and at-risk individuals, especially — can stock up in a safe manner.

First, stores altered their opening hours, cleaning procedures, and delivery options to cater to customers. But after growing concern for those most susceptible to COVID-19, major chains, including Walmart, Target, and Safeway, announced that they will reserve a special hour for seniors and vulnerable shoppers to get what they need at a comfortable pace while avoiding crowds.

Walmart, which operates more than 5,000 stores throughout the country, first launched special hours for seniors and at-risk customers on March 19. Due to the evolving nature of COVID-19, the big-box retailer announced a reserved Walmart Grocery Pickup hour to ensure that vulnerable shoppers can fill their pantries while adhering to social distancing guidelines. The company released a statement on April 14 to explain their decision:

Now more than ever, families are relying on our pickup service to help get quality, fresh groceries to their homes as safely as possible. These are extraordinary times, and we are constantly looking for ways we can help deliver that same peace of mind to all our customers, particularly those who are most at-risk.

As a reminder, the COVID-19 outbreak is constantly evolving, which means the senior hours and status of your local chains may be changing, too. It's best to call your nearest location before you head out to get the most up-to-date information.

Here's a list of stores with senior hours:

  • Albertsons: Stores are open from 7 to 9 .am. on Tuesdays and Thursdays for seniors and at-risk customers to shop.
  • ALDI: Stores are open from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays for seniors and at-risk customers to shop.
  • Big Y: Stores are open from 7 to 8 a.m. daily for seniors and at-risk customers to shop.
  • BJ's Wholesale Club: Anyone 60 and older can shop from 8 to 9 a.m.
  • Costco: Any member 60 and older can shop from 8 to 9 a.m. Tuesday through Thursday. No more than two people can enter the store with each membership card at one time.
  • Dollar General: The first hour of operation is reserved for seniors. Call your local store to find out opening times.
  • Fareway: Anyone 65 and older, immunocompromised, or expectant mothers can shop from 8 to 9 a.m. Monday through Saturday.
  • Food Lion: Every Monday and Wednesday, seniors and at-risk customers can shop from 7 to 8 a.m.
  • Food Town: Anyone 65 and older can shop from 7 to 8 a.m.
  • Fred Meyer: Seniors and at-risk customers can shop from 7 to 8 a.m. Monday through Thursday.
  • Fresh Market: Anyone 65 and older can shop from 8 to 9 a.m. on weekdays.
  • Gelson's: Anyone 65 and older can shop from 7 to 8 a.m.
  • Harris Teeter: Every Monday and Thursday from 6 to 8 a.m. is reserved for shoppers 60 and older.
  • HEB: Starting March 23, all stores offer the Favor Senior Support Line, a personal shopping and delivery service for at-risk customers, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m daily.
  • Kroger: All stores open at least one hour earlier for seniors and at-risk customers. Call your local store for exact times.
  • Morton Williams: Stores are open from 7 to 8 a.m. for "senior hour."
  • Pavilions: Stores are open from 7 to 9 .am. on Tuesdays and Thursdays for seniors and at-risk customers to shop.
  • Price Chopper: Stores are open from 7 to 8 a.m. for seniors and at-risk customers.
  • Publix: Anyone 65 and older can shop on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 7 to 8 a.m.
  • Rite Aid: Seniors and at-risk customers can shop from 9 to 10 a.m. on weekdays.
  • Safeway: Stores are open from 7 to 9 .am. on Tuesdays and Thursdays for seniors and at-risk customers to shop.
  • Sam's Club: Seniors and at-risk customers can shop every Tuesday and Thursday from 7 to 9 a.m.
  • Shaw's: Stores are open from 7 to 9 .am. on Tuesdays and Thursdays for seniors and at-risk customers to shop.
  • Stop & Shop: Seniors and at-risk customers can shop from 6 to 7:30 a.m.
  • Target: Stores are reserving an hour on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for "vulnerable shoppers." Call your local store to find out exact hours.
  • Trader Joe's: Stores will dedicate the first hour (either 8 to 9 .am. or 9 to 10 a.m.) to seniors and at-risk customers. Call your local store to find out exact hours.
  • Vons: Stores are open from 7 to 9 .am. on Tuesdays and Thursdays for seniors and at-risk customers to shop.
  • Walgreens: Tuesdays are considered "Seniors Day" with all-day discounts and seniors-only shopping from 8 to 9 a.m.
  • Walmart: From now through April 28, stores open one hour early on Tuesday for 60 and older to shop. Each day from 7 to 8 a.m. at 2,400 locations nationwide, anyone 60 and up, first responders, customers with disabilities, and anyone designated high-risk by the CDC can pick up Walmart Grocery. When placing a Walmart Grocery order, select 'At Risk Only.'
  • Whole Foods Market: Stores open one hour early for 60 and older and at-risk customers to shop. Call your local store for exact hours.
  • WinCo Foods: Every Tuesday and Thursday, seniors and at-risk customers can shop from 6 to 7:30 a.m.
  • Winn-Dixie: All seniors and at-risk customers can shop from 8 to 9 a.m. Monday through Friday.

For helpful resources regarding coronavirus, visit The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Coronavirus Disease fact page and The National Association of County and City Health Officials' directory of local health departments.

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