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Seniors Have Their Own Shopping Hour at Publix

Tom Flanigan

With many food stores seeing product shortages because of panic buying, Florida's largest supermarket chain is now opening early two days a week for the benefit of older shoppers. 

The manager at Tallahassee's Lake Ella Publix unlocked the doors an hour early at  7 a.m.Tuesday.

"Good morning, folks!  he called out cheerfully. "We'll start letting you in and there are sanitized carts for you as you come in."

Among the more than 100 folks who were already lined up was early-bird senior shopper Jeff Wehlen.

"I live right across the Lake so I'm used to just popping over and getting a couple of things. I now have a different mentality, shopping for much more when you can get it," he admitted.

And with the store being at least partially restocked overnight, the lined up seniors had a better chance to finding what they needed. While the present virus situation goes on, Publix says it will welcome "65-and-up" shoppers from 7 until 8 in the morning every Tuesday and Wednesday.

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Tom Flanigan has been with WFSU News since 2006, focusing on covering local personalities, issues, and organizations. He began his broadcast career more than 30 years before that and covered news for several radio stations in Florida, Texas, and his home state of Maryland.

Find complete bio, contact info, and more stories. here.