Photo by Emma Van Riper ’20
Stop & Shop added a window of time from 6:00 AM to 7:30 AM for customers ages 60 and over to shop alone, effective March 19, as this age group is highly vulnerable to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
The store hours for the rest of customers will be from 7:30 AM to 8:00 PM, which will give workers time to restock shelves and unload new shipments. Stop & Shop is still doing their home delivery service, but there are delays due to growing demands.
“I heard how chaotic Stop & Shop was in the early morning time slot yesterday,” Barbara Gladnick, a substitute teacher at Westport elementary schools, said. “I think it’s a great idea to help older folks get necessities first, but the system may need to be adjusted to space people out more, especially those most likely to be affected by the virus.”
Certain products are selling quickly such as toilet paper, hand sanitizer and paper towels. While families are making stockpiles of supplies, older locals have to be extremely careful when coming into contact with people and public places because they are much more susceptible to severe cases of Coronavirus.
With the town practicing social distancing and almost all stores closed, grocery stores are the few places left open. Stop & Shop is thoroughly cleaning their stores for the safety of all customers, but this new window of time is intended to assist elderly community members first.
Stop & Shop observed this issue of such a large crowd and made a statement in their FAQs regarding COVID-19 section of their website, “We plan to make these hours available EVERY day during this period, so it’s not necessary for everyone to come on the first day. This could result in large crowds, the very situation we are looking to prevent as it will make it more difficult for customers to practice social distancing.”
“I think the most important part when grocery shopping during such a stressful time is to be reasonable,” Erica Fanning ’20 said. “You have to find that balance between getting your family a substantial supply while leaving items for others like these elderly people who are having a tough time getting the essentials they need.”