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Markets Put Best - And Sanitized - Foot Forward For COVID-19 Wary Shoppers

Brian Bull

Grocery stores and markets are deemed “essential” in this pandemic, meaning they’ll stay open. KLCC’s Brian Bull checked in with stores in Eugene and Springfield on how they safeguard both customers and staff. 

The Market of Choice chain has segregated carts…sanitized and dirty, as well as hand sanitation stations near the entrance, and check-out clerks wearing face masks or working behind clear barriers.

Credit Brian Bull / KLCC
A hand sanitation station greets shoppers as they enter Market of Choice.

Spokesperson Amy Delaney says it’s a balancing act between being welcoming, yet safe.

“We’ve over 1300 teammates, so we want to make sure that we’re staying safe and healthy, while also protecting the customer," Delaney tells KLCC.

"Because they do need to come in to be able to get groceries and supplies.”

Meanwhile, Main Street Market and Friendly Street Markets are limiting the number of shoppers at a time and offering curbside pickup. Reusable bags are not allowed during the pandemic, while bulk foods - which can be handled or touched by multitudes of people - have been replaced with pre-packaged ones.

Owner Erin Gilfillan says it’s a hard time for small businesses. 

Credit Brian Bull / KLCC
Erin Gilfillan, owner of Friendly Street and Main Street Markets, November 2019.

“We’re going to do our best to just keep the flow going, and stay open for as many hours as we are," she says.  "And have the full Friendly Street and Main Street Market teams on hand at all times, to help customers.”

Many stores are also offering special hours for senior shoppers. They’re deemed a vulnerable population in this pandemic.

Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. In his 25+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (19 regional), the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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