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Reserved Grocery Shopping Times for Seniors and Vulnerable During COVID-19 - San Diego

Contrary to what many think, there is plenty of food at the grocery stores amidst this Coronavirus Outbreak lock down. There is no need to hoard, really. Retailers generally ask you to take no more than 2 units per item so there is plenty left for everyone else and stores are receiving regular shipments of food and stocking up daily.

However, if someone has a higher risk of severe complications from COVID-19, and doesn't want to risk going grocery shopping with the masses, some Grocery Stores have added in special shopping times JUST for them! See which stores are participating and when below.

Some stores who have "senior" shopping hours may check IDs at individual locations, but it seems generally they don't check and just ask others who are healthy to do their shopping around these times. For other stores who don't have these special shopping times, some like individual Trader Joe's stores, may set up limited amounts of people into the store at any given time so you may have to wait outside for a bit.

Generally speaking, the unofficial rumor is that if you're healthy and don't have an elevated risk of complications do your shopping mid to late morning or afternoons and evenings instead to let those who are more vulnerable shop first thing in the morning; when the stores have been freshly cleaned and empty for the last 12 hours.


WHEN: Tuesday & Thursdays from 9am-10am

FOR: seniors 60+ years and those who are disabled

(no other members will be allowed inside during these times)

Vons, Albertsons, Safeway, Acme

WHEN: 7am-9am every Tuesday & Thursday morning

FOR: seniors, pregnant women or those with compromised immune systems

Whole Foods

WHEN: 1 hour BEFORE opening, All stores in the US & Canada

FOR: ages 60+ years

Trader Joe's (updated 3/3/20)

WHEN: 8-9am daily

FOR: 60+ years

The line forms outside before the store opens and they usually take the first 1/3 of the group and then rotate in 10 more people after 10 others have left. People wait about 20 minutes in line and the line dwindles down by 11:30/Noon usually but they still limit the number of people inside at once.

Baron's Market

WHEN: 9am-10am daily

FOR: seniors


WHEN: 1st hour every Tuesday & Wednesday

FOR: elderly & vulnerable


WHEN: 1 hour BEFORE opening every Tuesday through April 28th

FOR: seniors 60+ years

Dollar General

WHEN: 1st hour of store opening everyday

FOR: seniors

Northgate Gonzalez Market

WHEN: 7am-8am daily

FOR: disabled & seniors 65+ years

Stater Bros.

WHEN: open at 7:45am

FOR: seniors 65+ years


WHEN: 7am-8am daily

FOR: seniors 65+ years


WHEN: 7am-9am, Tuesdays and Thursdays (some store times vary)

FOR: seniors, pregnant women, those with compromised immune systems

- In Temecula -

Organic Roots

WHERE: 40458 Winchester Road

WHEN: 7:45am-8am

FOR: seniors

Tom's Farms

WHERE: 3900 Temescal Canyon Road

WHEN: 8am-9am

FOR: seniors 55+ years

And don't forget to check in with your friends, family and neighbors to ask if they need anything before your next grocery run. Some who are vulnerable may be afraid to even go out in public. You might not know that a neighbor has an immuno-compromised system so ask everyone. Knock or leave notes on their doors with your number to call if they need anything. Elderly may not have smartphone apps, but it doesn't hurt to ask the Nextdoor page...maybe someone else knows of another neighbor who may need help. Start a GroupMe or What'sApp thread with everyone and let them know when you're going grocery shopping next. Maybe you can pick up a roll of TP for them, or their medicine.


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