Windmill Market in San Juan Bautista on March 19. Photo by Robert Eliason.
Windmill Market in San Juan Bautista on March 19. Photo by Robert Eliason.

With the COVID-19 shelter at home order in effect, grocery stores in San Benito County continue to sell items faster than they can get them on the shelves.

Chang So, owner of Windmill Market in San Juan Bautista and the Hollister Super Markets, said his stores are selling out of stock as soon as it comes in. He told BenitoLink that his stores are limiting the number of items people can buy.

“Food is coming and it is coming in on a regular basis, but people are not buying at a regular pace so it is hard to keep up with the demand,” he said.

While the store is getting deliveries from suppliers, they are not always complete. So’s stores have been out of eggs since March 13, and out of milk since March 16. They are also out of paper products at this time.

Starting on Thursday, March 19 from 6-8 a.m., the Hollister Super location on Third and San Benito Streets will offer exclusive shopping hours solely for seniors age 65 and over, the disabled and their caretakers. These exclusive hours will continue until the shelter order is lifted. The Hollister Super on Fourth Street and the Windmill Market in San Juan Bautista will be open to all customers during their normal business hours.

Other local stores are working out how to ensure the elderly are taken care of during the pandemic. Target will hold elderly-only shopping hours on Wednesdays from 8-9 a.m. They will be limiting paper and cleaning products to one per customer. Safeway will open senior shopping hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7-9 a.m. Lucky is holding dedicated shopping hours for seniors and high-risk populations on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6-9 a.m.

Nob Hill, Safeway, and Lucky are all receiving stock on a regular basis. However, as with the Hollister Supers and Windmill Market, deliveries may be incomplete. Lucky suggests shopping early in the day, around 6 a.m., for the best chance of finding the goods they need, as that is when they stock their shelves.


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Carmel has a BA in Natural Sciences/Biodiversity Stewardship from San Jose State University and an AA in Communications Studies from West Valley Community College and she reports on science and the environment....