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Shopping During Coronavirus Pandemic: Grocery Stores Change Operations To Help Seniors

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) - Some local grocery stores are stepping up to help seniors. Raley's says it's selling the essentials in a bag each morning starting at 7 a.m. It'll be a mix of fresh and canned food.

The bag is $20 and there's a limit of one per family. They're being offered on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Raley's hopes to have the service up and running on Saturday.

Some stores are setting aside special hours for seniors and those with health conditions.

Stores urge people to stop hoarding, saying there is enough food for everyone.

"Our supply system in America is very, very strong. It's very strong, but when we get the hoarding and all the stock up from individuals, it makes it very difficult to be able to manage," said Safeway NorCal Division President Brad Street.

Street and San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo tried to ease people's fears and remind them to not overbuy.

"Hoarding hurts our's important that food be available for everyone who needs access to food when they are able to go shop," said Liccardo.

Starting Thursday, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, every Safeway from the time it opens until to 9 a.m, will be reserved for seniors 65 years or older and those at-risk only.

It's an idea that shopper Candace Levers thinks is great.

"I think there's a little too much panic happening and I think a lot of that concern was about the stock and the supply chain. Clearly, looking at this, there's no problem," she said.

"With this being very new, we're all learning," said Street. "So as we're learning and going through this, I think that we'll have to speed that up a little bit, yes."

Safeway isn't the only store opening first to seniors, Whole Foods Market stores in the U.S. and Canada are opening one hour early so people 60 and older can shop first. The adjusted hours are posted on the store's web page.

Target will open an hour early every Wednesday for who it calls "vulnerable shoppers."

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