Senior Shopping

BLUEFIELD — Grants Supermarkets and other stores are now devoting their first hour of business each day to serve senior citizens only.

“The time is going to be 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.” said Pam Carter, marketing director for Grants, adding that stores may have different hours closing but all open at 8 a.m.

Carter said the reasons for starting the service is to help protect seniors, who are most vulnerable to the coronavirus threat.

“The stores are at their cleanest (disinfected) at opening,” she said, adding that it is virtually impossible to assure that when more customers start coming in throughout the day.

“It will also keep them out of the crowd,” she said of providing a less crowded hour for them to shop.

Food City temporarily adjusted the hours of its stores to 7 a.m. until 10 p.m. daily, “to give our associates additional time to clean, sanitize and restock.”

The first hour of operation from 7 a.m. until 8 a.m. will be “specifically designated for customers 65 and older, as well as customers with underlying health conditions to shop to avoid busier shopping periods.”

Dollar General also released a statement that said it “is strongly encouraging that the first hour of operations each day be dedicated solely for the shopping needs of senior customers, who are one of the groups most vulnerable to the COVID-19 coronavirus.”

Dollar General wants to “provide these at-risk customers with the ability to purchase the items they need and want at the beginning of each day to avoid busier and more crowded shopping periods.”

“Other customers are encouraged to plan their shopping trips around this window of time to allow the most susceptible customers in our communities the ability to shop during the first hour that stores are open,” the statement said, adding that those hours may vary at stores.

Carter also said Grants’ bagged lunch program for students, which started Tuesday, is going well.

Students with parent can stop by the office of any Grants store between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. to receive the lunches.

— Contact Charles Boothe at

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