A man with a mask stands in line with hundreds of other shoppers waiting for Costco to open on Tuesday in Everett. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

A man with a mask stands in line with hundreds of other shoppers waiting for Costco to open on Tuesday in Everett. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

‘Senior hour’ gives at-risk shoppers more time and space

Stores are adjusting to accommodate seniors and others who need to avoid crowds. And they’re hiring.

EVERETT — It’s the new happy hour for seniors.

Stores are designating special shopping time slots for seniors and those at high risk for infection.

They can get their milk, eggs and wine in a less crowded setting during “senior hour” at supermarkets. Pregnant women also are invited.

The catch: You have to get up early. And drinks are not included.

Dollar General is dedicating the first hour of operations for the shopping needs of seniors. The chain, and many others, are closing earlier than usual to sanitize and restock.

At Safeway and Albertsons, senior hours are from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Target is reserving the first hour every Wednesday for vulnerable shoppers. The store will continue to maintain limitations on in-demand items.

At Whole Foods Market stores, those at risk can shop an hour before opening.

Workers at Whole Foods, which is owned by Amazon, are getting an additional $2 per hour on top of their current hourly rate through the month of April.

Grocery workers are on the front lines during the pandemic that has changed the way people eat, work and play.

United Food and Commercial Workers 21, 367, 1439 and Teamsters 38 reached an agreement with Safeway/Albertsons and Fred Meyer/QFC to help support and protect grocery store workers and shoppers.

“By and large, we’re seeing worker after worker really step up to the plate,” said Tom Geiger, spokesman for UFCW 21. “That said, we’re also wanting to make sure that as unionized workers their rights are protected and even enhanced.”

The agreement is to jointly work with the state and federal government to treat grocery store workers as first responders and set up a childcare fund for grocery employees.

The resolution includes more flexible schedules to accommodate childcare and up to two weeks of pay for workers diagnosed with COVID-19 or workers required to self-quarantine, before needing to access sick leave and other contractual paid leave.

“This allows more of a practical balance,” Geiger said. “Workers can have increased hours, if they want them. It allows more workers to potentially stay home, either to take care of a sick kid or take care of themselves, or take care of a kid that would otherwise be at home unsupervised.”

Markets are in big demand for more workers. A joint hiring hall by the unions speeds up the process. Some are hired on the spot and put to work.

Most senior centers are offering pickup meals.

The Carl Gipson Senior Center, through partnership with Homage Senior Services, has lunches from 11 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday outside the main entrance at 3025 Lombard Ave. The center has been closed since March 5.

Guests are asked to bring exact change, pick up a meal quickly and not linger to socialize.

For those 60 years and older, $3 is the suggested donation. Non-eligible people under 60 can purchase a meal for $7.50.

Thursday’s menu : Vegetable soup, chicken salad sandwich, macaroni salad, fresh fruit, cookie and chips.

On Friday: Vegetable chili, ham sandwich, broccoli salad, fresh fruit, chips and a cookie.

Andrea Brown: abrown@heraldnet.com; 425-339-3443. Twitter @reporterbrown.

Talk to us

More in Local News

The Washington National Guard arrived Friday at Providence Regional Medical Center Everett to help with a surge of COVID-19 cases at the hospital. (Providence) 20220121
State offers free home tests; National Guard arrives in Everett

Supply is limited at a new online portal, but Washingtonians can now order five free rapid COVID tests.

Cassandra Lopez-Shaw
Snohomish County judge accused of ‘needlessly’ exposing staff to COVID

Adam Cornell argues the incident reinforces a need to suspend jury trials, as omicron wreaks havoc.

A rendering of the Compass Health Broadway Campus Redevelopment looks southwest at the building. The facility is planned for 82,000 square feet with a behavioral health clinic with a 16-bed inpatient center and a 16-bed crisis triage center. (Ankrom Moisan Architects)
Demolition eyed in spring for Compass Health Broadway campus

The Everett-based behavioral health care provider wants to replace the 1920-built Bailey Center with a modern facility.

A car drives by flowers placed at a memorial for two pedestrians killed at the corner of 204th Street NE and Highway 9 on Friday, Jan. 21, 2022 in Arlington, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
$500K bail for driver accused of killing 2 Arlington pedestrians

Elliott Bagley, 28, told an officer he’d had a couple beers before the crash Thursday, according to police.

vote
Ballots sent for special election on public schools’ funding

Levies to pay for staff, programs, computers and capital projects are on the Feb. 8 ballot across Snohomish County.

Houses along 88th Drive SE visible from the utility access road slated to become the Powerline Trail on Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022 in Lake Stevens, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Neighbors hold out on plan for new Lake Stevens trail

The city wants to build the Powerline Trail from 20th Street SE to Eighth Street SE. But homeowners have some concerns.

A car drives by Everett Station where Everett Mayor Cassie Franklin's proposal for its ARPA funds includes funding a child care center at station. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald) 20211118
Billionaire Bezos wants to bring free preschool to Everett

The Amazon founder’s program would be housed at Everett Station. Admission would be determined by lottery.

Connie L. Bigelow at her store Miniatures & More in Edmonds on Tuesday. (Janice Podsada / The Herald)
Woman who lit her own Edmonds doll store on fire gets house arrest

Connie Bigelow, 54, was sentenced Friday in federal court for lighting her business on fire to collect insurance money.

People across Snohomish County share their thoughts on two years of life during the pandemic. 20220123
Anxious, weary, hopeful: How we’re coping with COVID

The pandemic has taken a toll in Snohomish County, where the first U.S. case was confirmed. Here’s a time capsule of life in 2022.

Most Read