As grocers across the country seek solutions to protect the elderly and at-risk during the coronavirus outbreak, Raley’s of West Sacramento, Calif., is launching a new "Senior Essentials Bags" program, which provides fresh items and pantry staples in a ready-to-go bag for pickup.
Beginning March 21, Raley’s will offer two versions of the Essentials Bag intended for seniors and at-risk customers in self-isolation or quarantine. The $20 bag contains items such as Raley’s store brand of instant oatmeal, chunk light tuna, peanut butter, pasta, pasta sauce, fresh fruit and more. The $35 bag contains freshly cooked heat-and-eat entrees and salads.
One Senior Essentials Bag per family per day will be available to Raley’s customers on a first-come, first-serve basis depending on inventory levels at each store and while supplies last.
For shoppers unable to get out of their vehicles, certain Raley’s locations offer pickup at designated eCart pickup spots in the grocer’s parking lots. Shoppers can text the phone number on the eCart pickup spot signage when they arrive. If a bag is available, it will be brought out to the customer, where a Raley’s team member can take cash, check or a credit card payment.
Raley’s said its ability to provide the Senior Essentials Bags also depends upon its customers doing their part to avoid panic buying and hoarding food.
“I believe the most important thing that all of us can do is to trust those who are leading us through this crisis and to remain calm and civic minded,” said Raley’s CEO Keith Knopf in a statement. “Please know, the food system in the United States is the most sophisticated and robust in the world and amid rational demand it will keep up. If we all normalize our buying behavior and resist the unnecessary need to stockpile, everyone can have what they need.”
Additional efforts on the part of Raley’s to meet its shoppers’ needs include curbside pickup for prescriptions at its pharmacy locations and expanded time slots for grocery pickup and delivery. The grocer has hired additional team members to make this service available to a greater number of customers.
Raley’s recommends that customers place orders at least 48 hours in advance and select “allow substitutions” on all online orders. With limited inventory of high-demand items, the grocer is better positioned to fulfill orders when customers allow substitutions.