BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Grocery stores are playing catch-up Wednesday after a weekend rush left countless shelves bare thanks in part to the coronavirus.
At Graul's Market in Baltimore County, owner Harold Graul said it was almost like an extended snow day over the past few days.
Now, the initial shock is gone and many have stocked up on the essentials.
"It was just such a shock to have all these people come in and take in everything," Graul said. "The manufacturers can only produce so much, but once they catch back up I think people will be able to buy what they want to buy."
Grocery chains and smaller markets alike are now beginning to replenish many of the hot-ticket items like paper products, eggs, meat and canned goods that were some of the first to go.
Graul said his stores use a number of suppliers while some of the larger stores use a single supplier, which can explain why shelves were empty.
Stores are also taking special steps to help senior citizens and others get the necessities.
If you are elderly or immune-compromised several Maryland stores are offering special hours for you to get your shopping done.
Dollar General said in a statement it's "strongly urging" customers to reserve the first hour stores are open for senior citizens. Most stores open at 8 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. or 9 p.m. in Maryland.
Effective Friday, March 20, Giant Food stores in Maryland, Delaware, DC and Virginia will officer dedicated shopping hours to the elderly and immune-compromised between 6-7 a.m. every day of the week.
"The stores will operate on regular hours of operation during all other times. We continue to work on restocking our shelves and will be ready to serve to the best of our ability," Giant said in a statement.
Safeway will have special hours for seniors to shop on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m.
Starting March 18, Target stores offered the first hour of shopping to the elderly and immune-compromised.
Stores will be open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. The stores changed hours so that staff could sanitize the store every day.
Whole Foods is allowing shoppers over 60 to come in one hour before opening to the general public.
Other stores in Montgomery County are offering seniors-only hours, including:
- Global Food in Silver Spring;
- Grosvenor Market in Rockville;
- Dawson's Market in Rockville; and
- Roots Market in Olney.
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