Updated March 24, 2020
Two essential types of businesses vital to a population that is currently social distancing are grocery stores and pharmacies. Here are a few updates on what’s happening locally.
“Now, more than ever, it’s important we come together as a community to be of service to those in need,” a Stop & Shop Facebook post read. “One way we can do this is by advocating for our seniors.”
All Stop & Shop stores will open doors early each day, from 6 to 7:30 AM, to serve customers who are age 60 and over, as well as those with weakened immune systems.
“This could result in large crowds, the very situation we are looking to prevent as it will make it more difficult for customers to practice social distancing,” said Stop & Shop president Gordon Reid. “While we recognize we may be experiencing product shortages in some areas, our stores receive deliveries throughout the day so our shelves will be replenished for shoppers at all hours. We are making our best efforts to have products available across high-demand categories throughout the day.”
Stop & Shop, like many grocery, department store, and retail chains, has implemented additional cleaning and sanitation efforts, to be continued throughout the day in all stores. When shopping with family, the company encourages shopping responsibly and buying only what’s needed.
Cirillo’s Market Amagansett IGA will be reserving 9 to 10 AM shopping for senior citizens. The business will remain open to the public until 7 PM.
“In an effort to best protect our senior citizens, ID will be checked at the door,” read a Facebook post from the company.
“As an independent, family-owned businesses, looking after our customers in our local communities is always our top priority,” reads IGA’s website. “We understand the impact COVID-19 is having and want all our customers to know we are doing everything we can to support you and keep you informed. We are working with our supply chain partners to make sure we can keep supply up for our communities. We ask that everyone remain calm and purchase normal quantities to ensure everyone has fair access to stock.”
L&W Market in Bridgehampton said it’s stocking shelves and staying vigilant, adding the business is also taking extra precautions.
“Stop by to stock up, get a wave and a smile, and a pump of sanitizer,” reads a social media post.
The shop is also offering toilet paper for $1.50 per roll with a four-roll limit.
Golden Pear, with locations across the East End, is offering a limited supply of free soup for the needy and elderly. Message the company on social media for more information. Golden Pear is also offering take-home dinners, available from 4 to 6 PM, including roasted chicken, meatloaf, quesadillas, macaroni and cheese, grilled Atlantic salmon, fish tacos, warm paninis, and chili. Orders can be placed through the CHOWNOW app or phoned in.
One Stop Market in Springs is offering curbside service and delivery only, from 7 AM to 4 PM. No customers will be allowed in-store. Call 631-324-6055 for more information.
Farm Stands & Fish Markets
At Iacono Farm on Long Lane, customers are limited to either one chicken or four pieces of chicken, if there is any fresh chicken available.
The business has been moved outside of the shed where the Iacono family has been selling chicken, fresh eggs, chicken sausage, and other chicken-related items to the public since 1948.
On Saturday, Amanda Iacono, along with Donna Cuomo, manned an impromptu counter outside the shed.
“A lot of people are understanding, a lot of people are not,” Iacono said. “Yesterday, a man comes up, he orders a chicken, gets one, goes back to his car, and five minutes later, a woman comes and orders a chicken, and gets back in the car and they drive away together. And these are local people.”
Balsam Farm Stand in Amagansett offers home delivery service. Visit www.delivery.balsamfarms.com. Due to a high demand of requests the company will be offering items from other vendors as well. Quail Hill Farm in Amagansett is also offering a pay-what-you-can program, where items are available for pickup. Pickups are being planned for weekends. Visit @quailhillfarm on Instagram to learn more.
Mecox Bay Dairy in Bridgehampton, which is offering self-serve shopping 24/7, is selling eggs, cheese, and meat. Milk Pail in Water Mill is open. The company asks that one shopper per family or group enter at a time, and no children are allowed inside. You can also email your order to have it ready to pickup by emailing email@example.com.
At Gosman’s fish market in Montauk, the wholesale division has taken on the feel of a retail market, with New Yorkers who normally show up to shop in May ordering now.
According to Asa Gosman, the owners of the family-run business are weighing whether or not to open the retail business earlier than May 1.
Food delivery services through Peapod and Amazon are experiencing higher-than-normal order volume, so expect delays, but these channels are worth looking into for those who don’t feel comfortable leaving the house. Some websites are also boasting a higher stock of certain products than others.
Prepared food companies, like Blue Apron and Daily Harvest, are additional options.
Some local pharmacies that offer delivery options include Hampton Liggett Drugs in Hampton Bays, Southrifty Drugs in Southampton, and White’s Apothecary in Southampton, Sag Harbor, and East Hampton.
“We have always offered free delivery, and at this uncertain time, it seems to be a great option to serve our communities,” reads a message on White’s Apothecary website. “Be assured we are dedicated to serving you and your families should you choose to stay at home.”
Barths Pharmacy in Jamesport announced on Facebook it’s open seven days a week and boasts a drive-thru. “We have what you need during these unprecedented times: tissues, paper towels, toilet paper, cough and cold medicine, lozenges, pain relievers.”
A message on Rite Aid’s website urged customers to call ahead.
“If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or exhibit symptoms, please call your local store so that we can properly serve you and reduce the potential spread of the virus in the community,” a statement reads.
“Being committed to the welfare of those we serve means being responsive to evolving needs and acting swiftly,” said Troyen Brennan, executive vice president and chief medical officer of CVS Health. “This is particularly true in times of uncertainty. The latest steps we’re taking will help ensure patients of all ages have every option available to them when it comes to filling prescriptions.”
CVS will waive charges for home delivery of prescription medications. With the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention encouraging those who are at a higher risk of COVID-19 complications to stay at home as much as possible, this is a convenient option to avoid traveling to the pharmacy for refills or new prescriptions. Aetna, a health care and CVS Health company, is offering 90-day maintenance medication prescriptions for insured and Medicare members, and is working with state governments to make the same option available to Medicaid members where allowable.
“When you’re in a position to increase convenience and help provide some peace of mind, you act,” Brennan said. “As long as COVID-19 continues to be a threat, we’ll maintain a relentless focus on how best to serve our patients, members, and customers.”
Umbrella, a group that offers help to homeowners over the age of 60, is helping deliver medications and groceries to those in need across Long Island. They are also asking for volunteers to help. Visit www.askumbrella.com/covid-response to learn more.
T.E. McMorrow contributed reporting.