Local grocery store chains Safeway and Ridley’s Family Markets are reserving special hours for older shoppers and other at-risk populations as shelves continue emptying during the spread of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19.
Starting Thursday, Safeway will reserve 7-9 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays “for those vulnerable shoppers who must leave home to obtain their groceries,” specifically “senior citizens and other at-risk populations, such as pregnant women or those with compromised immune systems, who have been advised to avoid leaving home as much as possible,” according to a Wednesday news release.
“We are asking that our customers help us reserve this shopping time for those most at risk in our communities,” the release says. “We thank our customers in advance for their compassion and understanding toward their neighbors and friends, and in helping us maintain this temporary operations guideline.”
Ridley’s has reserved 6-7 a.m. Monday and Wednesday for seniors and caretakers only.
Big Hollow Food Co-Op in downtown Laramie will continue normal operating hours.
Walmart, which has limited its hours to 6 a.m.-11 p.m. daily, has had some confusion as to whether pickup shopping is still available. A call to the store from a Boomerang reporter indicated that pickup orders were not available, but a statement from the corporate office seemed to say pickup was available with some coordination.
“We’re seeing an increase in the number of orders coming in for our pickup and delivery services along with customers in our stores,” Casey Staheli senior manager for National Media Relations wrote in an email to the Boomerang. “The service has not been suspended, though we have had to cancel a number of orders due to item availability. As such, we’re offering time slots to customers for as soon as the same day and up to one day in advance, rather than time frames further out. This is a shorter window than we typically offer, but it will allow us to better serve our customers during this busy time.”
The Hilton Garden Inn announced on Monday it would be offering their services to support any older person who needs assistance picking up groceries between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. through Friday. Those needing assistance should call 307-745-5500.