Seniors and those with compromised immune systems can shop for one hour at Meridian Meats without being surrounded by other people. (Contributed)

Meridian Meats across the Lower Mainland opens its doors to those who feel most at risk for COVID-19

For one hour three days a week, those who feel most at risk can shop without throngs of people

Seniors and those with compromised immune systems will be able to do in-store shopping at one local grocery store, minus the throngs of people seen elsewhere.

Meridian Meats will be open solely for those two groups during their first hour of business from Tuesday to Thursday, as the COVID-19 crisis continues.

There were 28 people who took advantage of the shopping time on Tuesday, the first day the time was open to them. Those who couldn’t get in right away waited patiently in their cars.

READ MORE: Local family, local business, local jobs

Josh Penner, owner of the grocery chain, can’t believe the positive response he has received since he put out the word.

“It was made abundantly clear to us that this is important to a lot of people,” he said.

“There’s a lot of people that are very concerned about going out of their homes to go shopping because they have either a suppressed immune system or they’re elderly and they know they are at highest risk,” noted Penner, adding that it really speaks volumes to the stress people are feeling.

Penner said it was his wife who made the suggestion.

“She said we have to do something to help these people that are in this situation,” said Penner, who himself has grandparents that he is worried about in their 90’s.

A lot of seniors are not comfortable using technology, so ordering online might not be something they prefer to do and when it comes to fresh foods, said Penner, people want to choose them.

RELATED: ‘Hiring without boundaries’

Shelves at the Maple Ridge store have remained at around 85 per cent stocked a majority of the time and Penner doesn’t anticipate that supply is going to be an issue, although, he said, they are monitoring the situation closely.

His staff are also making sure they are looking after their own hygiene and health. If they are not feeling well, they don’t come into work.

Anyone who either develops a confirmed case of COVID-19 or if they have to quarantine for any reason as a result of COVID-19, Penner will be covering their wages during their time off.

“We don’t want it to come down to a financial choice because you are putting the public and the individual at risk,” he said.

Penner said his staff won’t be policing individuals at the door. He doesn’t want anyone feeling that they have to show proof of their health circumstances or their age.

But, he is hoping that the rest of the community will help support these individuals who feel more at risk of getting the virus and give them that space during that hour.

Meridian Meats will be open for seniors and those with suppressed immune systems from 8 to 9 a.m. Tuesday to Thursday at 11980 227 St. in Maple Ridge, at 7221 Park Street in Mission, 1449 Marine Drive in North Vancouver, and 1202A 56 Street in Tsawwassen. The store will be open 9 to 10 a.m. those same days at unit 108 – 2020 Oxford Connector in Port Coquitlam, unit 190 – 20330 88 Avenue in Langley, and unit 935 – 15355 24 Avenue in White Rock.


 

cflanagan@mapleridgenews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

UPDATE: Arrest made in incident in which ‘agitated’ man pulled out knife on 3 people in Abbotsford

Police say 27-year-old man arrested after information received from public

Abbotsford Police warn that water-testing calls are a scam

Fraudulent messages say City of Abbotsford is offering free water-quality tests

Value Village robbed at knifepoint in Mission

Masked man makes off with cash, avoids police K9 units and escapes

One more day in jail for man found with items from Abbotsford home break-in

Police found Ryan Gillanders, 22, with wallets, electronics and more

POLICE/2020: Street checks by police down in Abbotsford, but no plans to completely end them

Figures show street checks in Abbotsford relatively representative of city’s population

578 British Columbians currently infected with COVID-19

Seventy-eight new cases confirmed in past 24 hours

Conservation seizes fawn illegally kept captive in Vancouver Island home

A Comox Valley resident charged and fined under the Wildlife Act

Pandemic could be driving more parents to get on board with flu shot: study

University of B.C. study gauges willingness for parents to vaccinate children for influenza

Watchdog clears Okanagan RCMP in death of man after arrest over alleged stolen pizzas

The man died in hospital after having difficulty breathing and broken ribs

35,000 doses of fentanyl part of huge Maple Ridge bust

Largest seizure in RCMP detachment’s history included submachine gun, body armour

Have you seen Berleen? B.C. pig destined for sanctuary goes missing

Berleen was less than two weeks from travelling to Manitoba when she vanished

Health Canada says several kids hospitalized after eating edible pot products

People warned not to store cannabis products where children can find them

‘It’s not just about me’: McKenna cites need to protect politicians from threats

Police investigation was launched after someone yelled obscenities at a member of McKenna’s staff

Michigan plans dedicated road lanes for autonomous vehicles

First study of its kind in the U.S. to figure out whether existing lanes or shoulders could be used

Most Read