El Paso senior citizens wake up early to beat grocery store crowds

El Paso News

EL PASO, Paso (KTSM) – Protecting the most vulnerable, that’s what Vista Market in El Paso is trying to do.

Vista Market employees were hard at work starting at 6:30 a.m., 30 minutes earlier than usual. Since Tuesday, the store has been opening early for people age 65 and older. In an effort to allow most vulnerable in the community to get the essentials.

“We can not be with a crowd so that’s the problem,” Louie Arreola a senior citizen shopper.

Although on Wednesday, Vista Market was already out of toilet paper. Early-bird shoppers were relieved to grab eggs, bread, and meat before it was cleared off the shelves later in the day.

Empty shelves in the afternoon at Vist Market.

“Get some groceries when there’s not a whole lot of people around,” said Everett Young.

Anyone younger than 65 was asked to wait until 7 a.m.

“This lady was following us and she wasn’t a senior citizen so they turned her back and that’s nice that it’s only senior citizens,” said Arreola.

Vista Market has been closing one hour early to allow employees time to clean and restock shelves. Then senior citizens are the first ones in the next morning.

“As clean as possible, it’s going to be with the most stock that we can, to offer the best service for them,” said Luis Caudillo the general manager for Vista Market.

Some just happy to skip the grocery store drama over bottled water and toilet paper.

“I have been avoiding everybody I’m just scared, it’s scary, it’s nerve-racking. You see the social media of what’s happening out there. People getting into arguments and fights,” said Christina Melendes.

There are a total of seven Vista Market locations in El Paso. Some of the locations opened up an hour earlier to give seniors even more time to shop.

“I think that it makes people feel more comfortable and it’s an opportunity to get their shopping done and frankly older people get up earlier anyway,” said Pam Hackett, one of the early morning shoppers.

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