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Empty shelves leaving older adults empty handed

Empty shelves leaving older adults empty handed
Posted at 11:00 PM, Mar 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-22 13:24:48-04

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Stores are running out of food and essentials. Which means many leave without getting what they need. Among them are older adults.

Gerald Kleinfeld is one of them. He’s 83 years old and says senior hours aren’t as great as one would think.

Kleinfeld says during senior hours he is able to go into a store without crowds, which he says is good for public health.

However, he says he still can't find what he is looking for.

“Some will not make it. Maybe that might be me,” said Kleinfeld when thinking about the coronavirus.

He has asthma and says he’s scared of getting COVID-19.

“It’s terrifying. Of course it is,” he added.

So he avoids going out as much as he can, but when he heard about senior hours in stores, he thought he’d give it a try. But when he got there the stores were practically empty.

“There’s nothing there. During the senior hour the meat counter is closed and there’s nothing on the shelves. No chicken, no pork, no beef. I just lo There were no fruits and no vegetables, everything was gone. They had no bread, then I looked for cheese and they had no cheese,” he told KGUN9.

He says this is happening because people are hoarding.

“People are rushing and they’re filling up carts. I’ve seen people with two or three carts rolling them full of food,” said Kleinfeld.

He says his best bet is going to be ordering online and having his groceries delivered.

An idea W. Mark Clark, the President and CEO of the Pima Council On Aging or PCOA says can be difficult for some folks to do.

So, his recommendation is for people to be neighborly and help others.

“If you have somebody in your neighborhood that you know that might be older...may have some ongoing health challenges, it might be a good time to place a call. I’m going to go to the grocery store can I pick you up some extra this or that or the other thing,” said Clark.

As for Kleinfeld, here’s his message to fellow Arizonans.

“We’re all in this together. We’re a community. Feel like a community. Act like a community. Help. Be considerate of others. And we will get through it,” he added.

Kleinfeld says he’s optimistic we’ll get through these trying times as long as we work together and never lose hope.