Coronavirus: Walmart sets pickup hour for at-risk customers; expands SNAP options

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(Gray News) - Walmart announced Tuesday that select locations would have a special pickup hour for people who are most at risk of having severe complications if they get the coronavirus.

"Now more than ever, families are relying on our pickup service to help get quality, fresh groceries to their homes as safely as possible," said Tom Ward, senior vice president of Customer Product, in a news release. "These are extraordinary times, and we are constantly looking for ways we can help deliver that same peace of mind to all our customers, particularly those who are most at-risk."

At participating Walmarts, the hour from 7 to 8 a.m. will be reserved for customers over the age of 60, first responders, customers with disabilities and anyone designated high-risk by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The company stated its employees are following enhanced distancing and sanitation procedures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The point of pickup is also contact-free.

Customers simply open their trunk, and associates load their groceries in – no need to sign for the order, Walmart stated.

A new prompt on displays the qualifications for selecting the slot listed as ‘At Risk Only’ and allows those who are eligible to opt in.

The retail giant has made changes to its stores and employee benefits in recent weeks to promote health and social distancing during the pandemic.

On Monday, it stated people using Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program to purchase groceries can use the pay at pickup option at 3,300 of its stores. Those customers select “EBT card” for their payment method when ordering online.

The customer then provides their EBT benefit card for payment at pickup.

Also, a pilot program allows SNAP recipients to use online purchasing for pickup at some locations in states including Alabama, Arizona, California, Iowa, Nebraska, New York, Oregon and Washington.

People can use Walmart’s online store locator to see what options are available at nearby locations.

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