Coronavirus crisis: Sam's Club opens stores to health-care workers, first responders during 'Hero Hours'

Health-care workers, first responders and other front-line workers are invited to shop during early "Hero Hours" at Southern California Sam's Club stores.
TORRANCE, Calif. (KABC) -- Retail warehouse Sam's Club is making it easier for front-line workers to buy what they need. They are allowing health-care workers and first responders to shop hours before stores open to the public -- in what the company calls "Hero Hours."

The special business hours, held from 8 a.m.-10 a.m. on Sundays, have accommodated Sam's Club customers by allowing them to shop before the general public. This new extension of that policy welcomes health-care workers and first responders on the front line of the pandemic.

Barbara Anderson works as a nurse at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. She shops for herself, and her 85-year-old mother, and was thrilled to learn about the Hero Hours.

"This is well appreciated that we can come in this early and do what we needed to do," said Anderson.

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"We were getting in the line and I saw a bunch of people with badges on," said Ana Contreras who works at Providence Little Company of Mary in San Pedro. "So I actually had a family member come and bring me my badge because I didn't have it on me!"

"I work for a home-care agency and I just felt really bad when there were essential workers in line waiting but not able to go in when they are also trying to provide for their families," said Myra Hernandez, an in-home health-care worker.

Connie Babb works for Brinks, the cash-management and delivery company.

"We deal with the ATMs, grocery stores, and hospitals. We process the money and are essential workers and we don't get allowed to go in early anywhere," said Babb. "It's hard for us. Some of us work until 2, 3 in the morning and you can't be up at 7 a.m. trying to get in somewhere."

Babb said even with the special shopping time, it doesn't guarantee you can get everything you need.

"My mom's 84 years old and I can't even get her toilet paper," said Babb.
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