Breaking News - grocery stores open for 60+ from 6-7:30am

This just in from SOMA Two Towns For All Ages:As of March 19, all local grocery stores will be open to residents 60+ only from 6 am - 7:30 am. This allows for older residents to shop when the stores are re-stocked, leaned and less crowded.


Will be getting carded I guess.

McLovin, indeed.


Joan, does that also apply to people with suppressed immune systems or other high-risk health conditions? 


I don't know.  I am sharing an email I received from SOMA Two Towns For All Ages which works with the senior community in Maplewood and South Orange.  


HatsOff said:

Joan, does that also apply to people with suppressed immune systems or other high-risk health conditions? 

That seems even hard to enforce than the age cutoff. The problem in my mind is there are certainly people who would falsely claim such a condition to get access to an uncrowded freshly stocked and cleaned store.


I went on the website and it doesn't indicate what grocery stores are participating in the 6-7:30 AM shopping.  The website says "several" local stores but doesn't say which ones.  Joan, any idea?


mrincredible said:

That seems even hard to enforce than the age cutoff. The problem in my mind is there are certainly people who would falsely claim such a condition to get access to an uncrowded freshly stocked and cleaned store.

 They could insist on a note from a local doctor with relevant specialization. Drivers license or similar government ID for age determination. Not a big deal to me but I know somebody in that situation.


Oldstone said:

I went on the website and it doesn't indicate what grocery stores are participating in the 6-7:30 AM shopping.  The website says "several" local stores but doesn't say which ones.  Joan, any idea?

Stop N Shop made an announcement to this effect apart from the SOMA announcement. All Stop n Shop stores will honor these hours.


drummerboy said:

Stop N Shop made an announcement to this effect apart from the SOMA announcement. All Stop n Shop stores will honor these hours.

 Even the one in Union on Stuyvesant?


To the best of my knowledge all Stop and Shop Stores are honoring the 6 am - 7:30 am shopping hours for seniors.  I have no information as to what other supermarkets are doing.  As reported above, website reports. several local stores participating.


HatsOff said:

 They could insist on a note from a local doctor with relevant specialization. Drivers license or similar government ID for age determination. Not a big deal to me but I know somebody in that situation.

 I hear you and I agree it would be helpful to support those people. I wonder what store employee would get the task.

I'm 52 and could probably claim to be 60 to the average 22 year old.  blank stare


Kings sent this out via email this afternoon

"Beginning today, we are reserving the first hour of shopping for our senior and high-risk guests. The CDC recommends that those over 60 or with underlying conditions take extra precautions; therefore, we have reserved this hour for these guests. In addition, pregnant women and essential workers can also shop during this time.

We’re relying on you—our community—to uphold our honor system. We appreciate your support."


This is great and will be helpful. I've been going out in the afternoon and it's much more crowded.


Deleted.  Information provided in my post below.


I am up early and will get items for older people I know . I am 59 and 9 months so I would assume I qualify. I would rather be out then my mother and mother in law.   


From today's (March 18, 2020) update from Frank McGehee:

Extra supermarket, located on Irvington Ave, will be open between 6:00 am to 7:30 am for seniors only. In addition, they will be offering free taxi service for seniors to get home with their purchase. The service will only take them home and there’s no minimum purchase. The services start today.

Kings Supermarket will also be reserving the first hour of shopping 7:00 am to 8:00 am for seniors and “high risk guests”.

Stop & Shop will also start the practice of being open between 6:00 am to 7:30 am and reserving this shopping time for seniors tomorrow morning.


I went to the S&S on Valley this morning.

Was there at 6:15AM, I couldn't find a parking space, so I left.

Went to Livingston ShopRite instead. Much calmer scene, and they had peanut butter!

I did see one guy wearing a full face gas mask though.


My intrepid wife went to the Stop&Shop on Valley at 7:00 this morning. She said that the parking lot was quite full but did find a spot. Long lines of grey-haired people inside as there were only 2 cashiers (can't blame the cashiers) and the line for the self check-out went all the way down the produce aisle.

She did say that not one person sneezed or coughed and only a couple folks had on masks.

Our daughter (who lives in Switzerland) happened to call her while she was in line and was furious with her for going (apparently my daughter forgot what it is like to try to talk my wife out of anything).

A young neighbor has offered to go shopping for us if we need again so we will probably take him up on that. Frankly, we did not desperately need anything (although now grateful to have). I think my wife was mostly curious to see what it was like (she be like that).

PS: Thankfully we didn't need any toilet paper or bread because there wasn't any. Also, NO chicken products, -not even chicken livers (which is unfortunate because I have a great recipe for chicken livers). 

Meanwhile, we have a friend in Springfield Massachusetts who is a reporter and went to an early hours supermarket there this morning which she reported to us was very orderly while interviewing a few people.

New world.


The effort is admirable, but in case you want to avoid crowds, I found no lines, few shoppers and everything (onions! garlic! chicken!) except TP at the Millburn Shoprite today at 3 p.m. There were disinfecting wipes avaliable at the customer service counter. (At that time there was a line outside Trader Joe's.) I had to buy store brand peanut butter and English muffins with raisins, but that's not so bad.

That said, I think the crowding and stock problems will settle out soon.


English muffins with raisins!  What have we become!


Now I am craving an English muffin with raisins. I love those.


Target is opening one hour earlier on Wednesdays for seniors and Whole foods daily, I believe.


I keep waiting for the hoarding and panicking to stop.  This is more than just normal shopping going on



FilmCarp said:

I keep waiting for the hoarding and panicking to stop.  This is more than just normal shopping going on

 I agree, I thought after a week people would calm down, but not yet.  Even in areas under "lock-down" in China and Italy, people were able to get food and other deliveries.  What are people afraid of?


What are people afraid of?

 The unknown. As for me, I have always enjoyed a good mystery.


The mystery is with why people are hoarding produce. Its got a limited shelf life. Yet, produce aisles in S &S  have limited selection.


Possibly because more people are home more resources found at grocery stores etc. are being used. Many would have their coffee, maybe breakfast and lunch at the office.


rhw said:

Possibly because more people are home more resources found at grocery stores etc. are being used. Many would have their coffee, maybe breakfast and lunch at the office.

 I think this is at least part of it. I read somewhere that some of the new grocery demand is because a lot of people ate out essentially all the time. So the issue isn't all about hoarding, nor is it a problem with lack of food in the country, it is adjusting supply chains towards groceries instead of restaurants, college dining halls, school cafeterias, etc. 


On March 9, N.J. officials urged residents to stock up on 2 weeks worth of food. This probably contributed to the problem People hear "2 weeks (which is a lot of food) and so they get 3 weeks. 

https://www.nj.com/coronavirus/2020/03/nj-coronavirus-update-officials-urge-residents-to-stock-up-on-2-weeks-worth-of-food-medicine-just-in-case.html



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