Elderly Only Shopping Hours? Stores Across Borough Are Stepping Up

Elderly Only Shopping Hours? Stores Across Borough Are Stepping Up
Grocery shelves. Liena Zagare/Bklyner

BROOKLYN — A host of Brooklyn lawmakers called on Mayor Bill de Blasio Monday to implement new retail guidelines to protect the city’s most vulnerable as the coronavirus pandemic engulfs the city.

In a joint statement, Rep. Max Rose, State Sen. Andrew Gounardes, Councilman Mark Treyger, and Assemblymembers Peter Abbate Jr. and Matilde Frontus request the city mayor designate specific shopping hours at grocery stores and pharmacies for seniors and residents with underlying medical conditions. The measure would minimize the risk to the borough’s most vulnerable population.

Older adults and those with chronic medical conditions are at a higher risk of becoming severely ill after coming in contact with those who test positive for coronavirus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A New York City Comptroller report on the city’s aging population projected Brooklyn would house more than 350,000 residents 65 and older by 2020.

“Our seniors and vulnerable populations are already bearing the brunt of this virus’ impact,” Rose told Bklyner in a statement.

Stop and Shop grocery stores announced as of Thursday, March 19, all stores will open early from 6:00 am to 7:30 am to serve customers 60 and older. The grocery chain has two locations in Brooklyn — one downtown in the Atlantic Center and one in the Flatbush section of the borough. Monday evening, Dollar General stores announced they’ll open an hour earlier for seniors and close an hour earlier so employees can clean and restock shelves. Brooklyn and nearby locations listed here.

Windsor Farms has decided to open one hour early from 6-7 am for elderly-only shopping, so seniors and people with disabilities can purchase the items they need in a less crowded environment, and will begin the initiative this coming Wednesday, March 18th at 6 am.

“We don’t need to be putting them at an even greater risk by sending them into a crowded store after crowded store in search of groceries that are sold out,” Rose said. “This is a simple step that will help keep our most vulnerable out of harm’s way.”

Grocery chains in the United Kingdom and in other US cities have adopted a “senior shopping hour” where older shoppers will have first access to freshly cleaned supermarkets.

The request comes the same day President Donald Trump announced new social-distancing guidelines that discourage gatherings of more than 10 people and a day before Gov. Andrew Cuomo suspended New York City’s schools until April 20. De Blasio mandated business closures of bars, gyms, and restaurants and required all hospitals to suspend elective surgeries, just hours after he was criticized for continuing his gym routine at the Park Slope YMCA.

Please leave in comments local stores that offer special shopping hours! Your neighbors will thank you!

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