At many stores in Louisville right now it’s the same story: Shelves that are usually stocked with toilet paper, household cleaners and paper towels lay bare. It’s been hard for some people to get what they need. And for others, it’s been hard to shop at all because they’re in the groups at highest risk for the coronavirus.

In response, some stores are offering dedicated shopping hours specifically for the elderly and those with compromised immune systems.

Rainbow Blossom, a natural foods grocery chain with five locations in Louisville and New Albany, Ind., is one of those stores. It started limiting shopping during its first hour of business this week, and Andrea McGrath, the brand’s wellness category manager, said it’s been popular so far.

She was in the Indiana store Thursday, where she estimated about 30 to 50 shoppers came through in a first hour, a bit higher than what she sees at that time on normal days. She said she’s also observed some shoppers coming in with lists for others who may not be able to get to stores.

“There were a couple of elderly woman that came in yesterday to Indiana market and they were kind of shopping for everybody in their elderly community,” she said. “So they had different lists, you know, different folks needed different foods or supplements they were looking for.”

McGrath said the stores are operating on the honor system, not asking people their ages or health status.

“This has all been a really beautiful reminder of how much we depend on each other,” she said. “It’s really good to see a small shift hopefully going to a larger shift in thinking where individuals are realizing not just to shop local and what that what that means, but also to help your neighbors, to support everybody.”

Here’s a list of stores in the area that are offering designated shopping times for the elderly or those with medical conditions (updated 7/28/20):

Kroger: The first hour of shopping on Wednesdays (6 – 7 a.m. or 7 – 8 a.m. depending on individual store hours)

Rainbow Blossom: First hour of business

  • St. Matthews (3738 Lexington Rd.): 8 – 9 a.m. Monday through Saturday; 10 – 11 a.m. Sunday
  • Highlands (3046 Bardstown Rd.): 9 – 10 a.m. Monday through Saturday; 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Sunday
  • Middletown (12232 Shelbyville Road): 9 – 10 a.m. Monday through Saturday; 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Sunday
  • Springhurst (3608 Springhurst Boulevard): 9 – 10 a.m. Monday through Saturday; 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Sunday
  • New Albany, Ind. (3003 Charlestown Crossing): 9 – 10 a.m. Monday through Saturday; 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Sunday

Target: First hour of business on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. That’s 8 to 9 a.m. in the Louisville area.

  • 3600 Mall Rd.
  • 4174 Westport Rd.
  • 7311 Jefferson Blvd.
  • 4640 Taylorsville Rd.
  • 4101 Towne Center Dr.
  • 12975 Shelbyville Rd.
  • 1125 Veterans Pkwy, Clarksville, Ind.
  • 2209 State St, New Albany, Ind.

Whole Foods: One hour before the store opens to the public on Wednesdays and Fridays. In Louisville, that’s 7 to 8 a.m.

  • 4944 Shelbyville Rd.

Walmart: From 6 to 7 a.m. (an hour before the store opens to the public) on Tuesdays, for people over age 60.

  • 18 stores in the Louisville area. Full list available here.

The Fresh Market: First hour of business, 8 to 9 a.m., every day.

  • 1805 Rudy Ln.

Meijer: Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6 to 8 a.m.

  • 4500 S Hurstbourne Pkwy.
  • 9500 Preston Hwy.
  • 9905 Dixie Hwy.
  • 4222 Charlestown Rd., New Albany, Ind.
  • 2750 Allison Ln., Jeffersonville, Ind.

Big Lots:  First hour of business.

  • 5252 Bardstown Rd.
  • 6650 Dixie Hwy.
  • 5518 New Cut Rd.
  • 6201 Preston Hwy.
  • 3938 Taylorsville Rd.
  • 4121 Shelbyville Rd.
  • 440 New Albany Plz., New Albany, Ind.
  • 706 E Lewis & Clark Pkwy., Jeffersonville, Ind.

Trader Joe’s: An hour before the store opens to the public, 8 to 9 a.m., is reserved for seniors over 60 and disabled customers who need extra assistance.

  • 4600 Shelbyville Rd., Suite 111

Costco: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. will be reserved for seniors 60 and older as well as people with disabilities. Guests are not allowed at this time. The pharmacy will be open during that time, but the food court won’t.

  • 3408 Bardstown Rd.
  • 5020 Norton Healthcare Blvd.

Sam’s Club: Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7 to 9 a.m. for seniors, as well as customers with disabilities or weakened immunity. The pharmacy and optical center will be available during that time. There is also a concierge service that will allow seniors and other vulnerable shoppers to park in designated spots and place an order from their car, which a store associate will fulfill.

  • 6622 Preston Hwy.
  • 1401 Alliant Ave., Jeffersontown, Ky.
  • 1301 Veterans Pkwy., Clarksville, Ind.

Aldi: First hour of business on Tuesdays and Thursdays, starting at 8:30 a.m., for seniors, expectant mothers and those with underlying health conditions.

  • 825 S. Hurstbourne Pkwy.
  • 4301 Bardstown Rd.
  • 10620 Westport Rd.
  • 3442 Preston Hwy.
  • 4901 Outer Loop Rd.
  • 3131 E. 10th St., Jeffersonville, Ind.
  • 3118 Grant Line Rd., New Albany, Ind.

Ollie’s: From 9 to 10 a.m. Mondays through Saturdays, and from 10 to 11 a.m. on Sundays for seniors and those with compromised immune systems.

  • 9236 Westport Rd., Suite A
  • 5613 Preston Hwy.
  • 9070 Dixie Hwy.

This story has been updated. Do you know of a Louisville-area store offering dedicated shopping hours? Send us a tweet @WFPLNews.

Amina Elahi is WFPL's City Reporter.