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Trader Joe’s adds senior hour to help vulnerable shoppers amid COVID-19

Senior shoppers get priority 9-10 a.m. daily

People keep their distance from each other while waiting in line to enter a Trader Joe's grocery store in San Francisco, Saturday, March 21, 2020. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
People keep their distance from each other while waiting in line to enter a Trader Joe's grocery store in San Francisco, Saturday, March 21, 2020. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

SAN ANTONIO – Trader Joe’s is the latest grocer to add a senior shopping hour as store shelves continue to be wiped out due to fears over the novel coronavirus.

The national grocery chain announced the first hour of opening — 9-10 a.m. — will be dedicated to seniors, starting on Monday.

Senior customers will line up separately outside the front door.

“Over the past few weeks, we have heard from our senior customers about the need for assistance in the morning to get in and out of our stores quickly,” the grocer said in a news release.

H-E-B adds stricter purchase limits on more items to ‘protect the supply chain’

The chain has two locations in San Antonio, at 403 N. Loop 1604 W. in Sonterra Village and at 350 E. Basse Road in the Quarry Village. Store hours for all customers are 9 a.m.-7 p.m. daily.

Target, Whole Foods, Walmart and Dollar General have already dedicated early morning shopping hours for seniors.

Last week, H-E-B introduced its Senior Support Line, a new program that delivers items to seniors at their doorsteps. Orders can be placed over the phone, on Favor’s website or through the Favor app.

READ MORE: H-E-B announces ‘Senior Support Line,’ a new delivery program for vulnerable shoppers

Dedicated hours allow seniors to shop among smaller crowds to help reduce their chances of acquiring the virus and give them priority to buy in-demand products, according to the Associated Press.

COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new virus, stands for coronavirus disease 2019. The disease first appeared in late 2019 in Wuhan, China, but spread around the world in early 2020, causing the World Health Organization to declare a pandemic in March.

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