Smith’s Food and Drug announced Tuesday that its grocery stores will open exclusively for senior citizens from 7-8 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, beginning this week.
The move comes as the COVID-19 pandemic disrupts daily life in Utah, the United States and a large swath of the planet, causing grocery stores to be inundated with shoppers and limiting necessary supplies.
Senior citizens have shown to be the most vulnerable age group to the novel coronavirus and there have been many cases in Utah and across the country of senior citizens struggling to find basic necessities at grocery stores.
There are three Smith’s locations in Weber County. Two stores are in Ogden on Harrison Boulevard and the other is in North Ogden on Washington Boulevard.
Davis County has eight locations: two in Layton and one each in Sunset, West Point, Syracuse, Farmington, Bountiful and Woods Cross. There’s also a Smith’s in Brigham City.
Through April 18, Smith’s is also waiving pick-up fees on online orders received for curbside pickup from customers age 60 or older.
Apart from the senior shopping hours, Smith’s has implemented new temporary hours from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. until further notice, according to the release, so as to give store workers adequate time to restock shelves and sanitize store surfaces.
In a provided statement, the company’s corporate affairs manager, Aubriana Martindale, wrote that she hopes customers respect the senior shopping hours for the health of the community.
Messages left with the Smith’s public affairs office were unreturned Tuesday. It was unclear who the company considers a senior citizen or what potential crowd control procedures will be put in place.
The grocery store company also announced it’s hiring workers immediately to help restock shelves and conduct additional deep cleaning as demand at grocery stores increases.
More information about employment with the company is available online at www.smithsfoodanddrug.com or at any Smith’s store.