Local Markets Are Offering Shopping Hours for Seniors and Disabled

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Several local markets are beginning to offer a special shopping time dedicated to the elderly and people with disabilities. Northgate Market, a grocery store chain specializing in Hispanic items, and Baron’s Market will begin opening earlier to give seniors and people with disabilities the chance to shop at their own pace without the bustle of crowds. 

Northgate Market will open early at 7 AM and allow the elderly and people with disabilities the shop at their own pace for an hour before opening to the public. Northgate operates eight locations in San Diego County from Otay Mesa to Fallbrook. At Baron’s Market, seniors 65 or older and people with disabilities will have the store to themselves from 9-9:30 AM. Baron’s Markets has locations in Point Loma, North Park, Alpine, and Rancho Bernardo.

“We recognize the challenge facing seniors and other at-risk populations and we need to address this by providing them an opportunity to shop for essentials without fear or trepidation. Our customers and store associates’ safety are our number one concern,” Northgate Market Co-President Miguel Gonzalez said. “This is just one solution we are looking at to help Southern California residents sustain their health and nourishment needs.”

The past few days have seen Americans racing to grocery stores in a panic to stock up on food, toiletries, and other essentials. The result has been widespread reports of shelves picked bare, with necessities like toilet paper, water, and non-perishables disappearing amidst the heavy demand. 

As we’ve learned, the coronavirus disproportionately affects the elderly and those with underlying health conditions. Health authorities have recommended that anyone over the age of 65 isolate themselves in their homes and only go out if absolutely necessary. With massive crowds appearing at grocery stores every day, many elderly folks have found it difficult to buy the items they need. 

Despite grocery store shelves consistently selling out of products, owners have reassured Americans that their supply chain is intact and there is no threat of America running out of food or supplies anytime soon. 

“There is food being produced. There is food in warehouses,” said Julie Anna Potts, chief executive of the North American Meat Institute, in an interview with The New York Times “There is plenty of food in the country.” Still, the sight of empty shelves is a jarring experience for many, leading to the ‘panic buying’ we’re now seeing across the country. 

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