Local senior concerned with senior shopping hours

RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - A local senior has some concerns with the senior shopping hours at Smith’s Food and Drug. Mark Hanson said he is grateful for the accommodations, but he wants Smith’s to do more for seniors during this pandemic.

According to Hanson seniors wait outside in the cold before the doors open. He hopes seniors could wait in a warm place inside the store.

“They give us senior hours and being over 60 you stand in the cold to get a ration of toilet paper, paper towels, or drinking water.”

Hanson hopes the store could expand its senior shopping hours and let customers know what’s currently in stock.

"It's not too bad except when you're standing out in the cold and what you come for isn't in the store." He added, "You know this whole thing is a little tough on everybody, if they could just do one more step, and put no toilet paper today, no paper towels, it would be a big help for us."

We reached out to Smith’s and the company said its top priority is the well-being, health, and safety of their employees and customers.

According to Smith’s Spokesperson Aubriana Martindale the company has a task force team that’s monitoring the public health pandemic.

"We wanted to provide allocated hours for seniors so they have more space to shop in a safe environment," said Martindale.

She added, "Our associates need the time to follow the CDC guidelines to make sure we are deep cleaning, so we wouldn't want to invite any of our customers especially the most vulnerable to COVID-19 into our store prior to following those cleaning practices."

Part of the task force team's duties is taking input from their employees and customers too.

Martindale said, “They are looking at everything from all of our customers across the board, any activities that can help navigate our business, and anything that we can then implement that is new or different.”

Martindale said COVID-19 is an unprecedented situation and the company is working to meet the needs of those it serves every day.

She said, "We are seeing traffic inside of our stores that we typically see the day before Thanksgiving, now that is something we can anticipate. The grocery industry couldn't have anticipate this pandemic.”

Smith’s said there is no shortage of food, it’s just the process of replenishing the shelves due to the demand of products.

Hanson said his wife called Smith’s to express their concerns, but have yet to receive a call back.

Martindale said people could express their concerns with a local store manager.

The Washoe County Senior Services offered tips for seniors running errands:

• Remain at least 6 feet from another person in public.
• Stay away from anyone who is sick or exhibiting signs of illness.
• Cough or sneeze in sleeve.

Copyright KOLO-TV 2020