Elderly Only Shopping Hours? Stores Across Borough Are Stepping Up

Some national grocery chains are opening earlier for the most vulnerable, lawmakers want the mayor to make it mandatory.

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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  1. Stop and Shop also has a store in Sheepshead Bay Brooklyn FYI. And 6 am – 7:30 am seriously they can do better than that for seniors instead they should be giving them free delivery and phone ordering for the non tech savvy seniors.

  2. Please share and update your neighbors.
    Key Food on 7th Avenue has graciously agreed to open from 6:30am-7:30am Monday – Friday for SENIOR SHOPPING only starting Wednesday March 18th. They will also have their regular delivery service available during those hours for seniors who cannot make it out to shop.
    The staff is working tirelessly to keep their shelves stocked in this unprecedented time and Roseanne Marabello-Riveria at Mandel Foods (who owns the 7th Avenue store) wants the community to know that they are there for us and our needs. They will be posting signs in their windows for passersby in order to keep that time for seniors only.

    Key Food
    130 7th Avenue
    (718) 768-8317

  3. I am 73 years old and I think these hours are absurd. I would have to get up at 4:30 am.(I normally rise at 8 am) and then go out at the coldest part of the day. I’ll probably wind up getting sick or coming down with pneumonia. Why don’t you reserve some reasonable hours for seniors to shop when we’re more awake?
    And why isn’t something done about hoarding. People are buying certain items like toilet tissue in ridiculous unnecessary quantities. while the rest of us can’t get any. The items that have disappeared from the shelves should be rationed or controlled when they reappear.

  4. i agree the hours should be later than 6.30 or 7,30 am. you have to leave home very early to get there for the opening, It is not only Key food but other stores as well. the concept is good just adjust the implementation, thanks

  5. ok boomers, time to face the facts, you get a free retirement that the rest of us have to pay for while paying for our own retirement from our own checks. it is called a 401k. you get free healthcare when we do not. we get crippling student load debt, you do not. when the store opens up is the only time of day i could get in to get my 2 sons food for the day because i do not hoard a month of provisions and still go shopping like a religious fanatic….and now that is apparently yours too and you all seem to have the nerve to bitch in unison about it. you call us lazy, ungrateful and unprepared. look in the mirror!!!!! you were raised by the greatest generation and will be saved by ours. thank you for our only loss in a war, unpayable debt, accepted racism/sexism, crack, the only nasa casualties, the bush family getting voted in and fisting us as a nation…twice, wanting everything but unwilling to give anything in return. either get up and say thank you to every employee or hurry up and depart this world so someone under the age of 50 can actually own a piece of land without going half a million in debt.

  6. I WONDER what you will say when you get OUR AGE! Don’t you have elderly relatives? Oh, let me guess…you shop for them. How generous of you!!

  7. @Jason
    “you get a free retirement that the rest of us have to pay for while paying for our own retirement from our own checks. it is called a 401k.”

    Well, no. All our working lives, wee contributed to SS through our taxed wages, just like you do. And most Boomers already missed out on the golden age of pensions, which are long gone. But our 401Ks had less time to grow. Yep, we get social security benefits, which is great because business hiring discriminates against Boomers. We paid our dues. Suck on it.

  8. I shop at the Key Food Store on Ave A in NYC. Key Food’s early hours are NOT helpful to seniors who have various health conditions & find it very difficult to function / walk that early.
    Another time slot should be allocated for seniors OR limit the people & seniors to enter the store anytime without waiting outside in line. Standing in place is difficult for seniors.
    Do you know any seniors? No older relatives? You seem ill informed on the subject. Your hours do NOT help seniors and are without empathy.
    Let the 20 & 30 yr olds shop from 6-7am. They can jog afterward. Parents are up early, so give them an early slot.
    In theses circumstances you should take orders over the phone or online & deliver the groceries for FREE to all seniors or the disabled.
    Shame on you.

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