San Diego grocery stores make changes to help senior citizens during COVID-19 outbreak

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Vallarta Supermarkets Tuesday became the latest chain to announce that it will open its stores — including its two San Diego County locations in Escondido and National City — an hour early to accommodate seniors 65 and older, pregnant women and those with disabilities as a way to assist customers amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Effective Wednesday, the Sylmar-based company’s 50 locations in San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, San Bernardino, Kern, Santa Barbara, Tulare and Fresno counties will open to serve those customers at 7 a.m. before opening to the rest of the public at 8 a.m.

“These special hours, along with our efforts to improve checkout times, restock shelves and assist with customer service, are some of the changes we’re making in an effort to meet the high demand during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Andrew Lewis, Vallart’s vice president of marketing.

Barons Market also announced they are opening their doors a bit earlier to give seniors and people with disabilities their own time to pace the aisles and shop for essentials. Seniors 65 and older and people with disabilities will have the store to themselves from 9 to 9:30 a.m.

On Monday, the Northgate Gonzales Market chain began opening all of its 41 Southern California locations one hour early each day — also at 7 a.m. – – for senior citizens and disabled customers. The Anaheim-based chain has 19 stores in Los Angeles County, 13 in Orange County, eight in San Diego County and one in Riverside County.

Here is a list of all of the grocery stores in the County offering special hours for at-risk populations:

Target: Opening each Wednesday to “vulnerable guests,” including the elderly and those with underlying health concerns, an hour early.

Walmart: Walmart will offer hour-long senior shopping every Tuesday from March 24 through April 28, for customers aged 60 and older. This will start one hour before the store opens.

Albertsons: Will open to 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. for “vulnerable shoppers,” including senior citizens and other at-risk populations, such as pregnant women or those with compromised immune systems, every Tuesday and Thursday.

Vons: Will open to 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. for “vulnerable shoppers,” including senior citizens and other at-risk populations, such as pregnant women or those with compromised immune systems, every Tuesday and Thursday.

Whole Foods: Will open one hour early for customers who are 60 and older under each store’s new adusted hours.

Barons Market: Open to seniors 65 and older, pregnant women, and those with disabilities at 9 a.m.

Northgate Gonzales Market: Open for senior citizens and disabled customers at 7 a.m.

Vallarta Supermarkets: Open to seniors 65 and over, pregnant women, and those with disabilities at 7 a.m.

Categories: Coronavirus, Health, Local San Diego News