Update from Kroger Mid-Atlantic on COVID-19 response
Our stores are open, and we’re here for our customers and communities when they need us most. The health and wellbeing of our associates, our customers and our communities is our top priority.
Updates as of 3/26/20:
- Associate wellness and support: On March 21, Kroger expanded its COVID-19 emergency leave guidelines to include paid time off for self-isolation and symptoms as verified by an accredited health care professional. This expands the existing guidelines, announced on March 14, which allow paid time off for associates diagnosed with or placed under quarantine due to COVID-19. In each scenario, all associates will be eligible to receive their standard pay for up to two weeks (14 days).
- NEW – Personal Protective Equipment: We are committed to protecting the health and safety of our associates. Kroger associates are permitted to wear protective masks and gloves. There is a national shortage of personal protective equipment like this, and we fully support America’s health care workers having first priority to obtain the equipment they need. We are advocating to government officials at all levels for help securing a priority place in line for all grocery workers – after health care workers – to have access to protective masks and gloves.
- Associate pay: Kroger will provide a one-time payment to hourly grocery, supply chain, manufacturing and customer service associates, amounting to $300 for full-time associate and $150 for part-time associate. In addition to the recent bonus, Kroger gave each associate $25 for groceries, and stores are providing food for associates as well.
- Helping Hands Fund: For those affected by COVID-19, additional resources are available through Kroger’s Helping Hands Fund – a company-sponsored fund that provides financial assistance to associates who are experiencing a financial hardship due to an unexpected or emergency situation.
Hiring: To keep our stores stocked with fresh, affordable food, while also looking to support our neighbors looking for permanent jobs right now, we have immediate positions available throughout Kroger Mid-Atlantic. Positions exist across our retail stores, manufacturing plants and distribution centers. Candidates may apply via jobs.kroger.com, and could be placed for employment within several days of applying.
NEW – Over the last two weeks, The Kroger Company has hired 18,000 associates for full-time and part-time positions across the country.
NEW – Free Pickup: Kroger has experienced an increase in demand for its Pickup service as customers seek alternative ways to shop for groceries. Kroger is temporarily waiving our Pickup service fee nationwide (a value of $4.95), with no minimum order threshold. Customers may experience limited inventory options and longer wait times than usual. We appreciate our customers’ understanding as we work tirelessly to serve the community during this unprecedented time.
Preventive Measures: We are taking these steps to protect our customers and associates:
NEW: Kroger is installing plexiglass shields at many cash registers to further promote physical distancing. Many of our stores are beginning the installation process this week, and we anticipate every check lane having a partition, including pharmacy counters, within the next several weeks.
NEW: Kroger is installing educational floor decals to promote physical distancing at check lanes and other counters.
Cleaning commonly used areas multiple times an hour, including cashier stations, self-checkouts, credit card terminals, conveyor belts and food service counters, and cleaning shelves when restocking products.
Sanitizing restrooms more frequently and restocking with supplies, including soap, paper towels and hand sanitizer.
Adding extra hand sanitizer at cashier stations, food service counters, and all Pharmacy, The Little Clinic and Starbucks locations.
Wiping down shopping carts, baskets and equipment.
Partnering with our suppliers to replenish high-demand preparedness products.
Maintaining industry-leading best practices for safe food handling.
Adjusted operating hours and senior and at-risk hours: Kroger Mid-Atlantic stores have adjusted operating hours. Until further notice, operating hours are 7 a.m. – 10 p.m. at Kroger stores and 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. at Kroger fuel centers. We will continue to make decisions that allow us to operate clean, open and stocked stores to serve our customers and support our associates.
NEW: Senior and at-risk hours: Kroger Mid-Atlantic stores are dedicating the first hour of operation on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays to seniors (those over 60) and other at-risk customers. From 7-8 a.m., these customers can have first access to the store.
Shopping options and inventory: There has been an increased demand for products and supplies however the supply chain is strong and there is not a nationwide shortage on food. Our associates are working to ensure our in-store, pickup, delivery and ship services are operational and available to customers. We want to ensure all our customers have access to in-demand products, with limits on certain items. We are working closely with our suppliers to replenish our inventories, and associates are working hard in stores and distribution centers to resupply items. Trucks with supplies are arriving daily.
$3 Million Gift: The Kroger Co. Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation announced a $3 million commitment to rapidly deploy hunger-relief resources to communities disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The Kroger Co. Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation’s $3 million commitment will be equally distributed between the Foundation’s nonprofit partners, Feeding America and No Kid Hungry. The funding will not only support local food banks nationwide, but also fund initiatives that ensure children, whose schools may be closed, still have access to nutritious meals.