Tags: coronavirus, notice, covid-19 Health and wellness

Important Media & Customer Updates

Store Front

The entire Big Y family is committed to doing our very best to service our communities and to ensure the health and wellness of our customers, employees and vendors.

Every day, we work closely with our suppliers to keep high demand items in stock. In some cases, these products are on allocation throughout the country but rest assured that we are moving quickly to re-stock as soon as possible.

Please know that we understand that this is a stressful time for all and we will continue to update you on any new developments as they arise.

SAFE SHOPPING PROCEDURES

In adherence with local and state regulations, please help us keep our stores safe by practicing the following social distancing guidelines:

  • All Big Y World Class Market locations will have posted customers limits. Should capacity be reached at any point, a store employee will assist customers with queuing up outside the store using social distancing.
  • We request shopping trips be limited to ONE person per household whenever possible.
  • Customers are required to wear cloth face coverings/masks in accordance with state or local regulations.
  • While in the store, government guidelines require social distancing of 6 feet when and where possible.
  • Please observe one-way aisle directions where present.
  • All Big Y locations now have social distancing markers and acrylic sheet shields, as well as other visual and audible reminders to encourage social distancing.
  • All Big Y employees are required to wear a face mask/covering. (This includes MA and CT store locations). If the local or state regulation allows for an exception due to underlying health conditions, employees with health concerns can be excluded from this requirement.
  • According to guidance from the MA Department of Public Health, reusable bags are now prohibited, all local bans on the use of plastic bags are lifted, and stores will no longer charge for paper or plastic bags.

Beginning Wednesday, July 1st, we will no longer be supplying single-use plastic bags in our Connecticut locations. At this time, all grocery orders will be bagged in paper bags at no charge. Customers are encouraged to bring in their Reusable Bags as an alternative.

Please follow these guidelines when using Reusable Bags for everyone’s health and safety:

  • Only use clean reusable bags
  • Clean and disinfect reusable bags after each use
  • Store reusable bags in a clean, cool and dry location
  • Use dedicated bags for groceries only
  • Use separate reusable bags for food items and non-food items, household cleaners, detergents, etc.

Thank you for your cooperation.


Bottle Rooms at all of our locations have resumed normal redemption operations.  

Bottle rooms will be open during store hours of operation.  Bottle rooms are to be closed from 1:00pm - 2:00pm for cleaning and sanitizing.

Please adhere by the following restrictions when using our Bottle Rooms:    

  • Limit of 1 person in bottle room at all times (Limit 2 persons at the Table & Vine Flagship location in West Springfield)
  • Please follow social distancing guidelines
  • Maximum amount of allotted bottle redemptions per day per customer- 120 in MA, 150 in CT
  • Bottles and cans must be clean and empty
  • We accept bottles and cans that we currently sell with state Deposit
  • For everyone’s health and wellness, please do not place bottles/cans in carriages

Updates

RISING FOOD INSECURITY PROMPTS BIG Y WORLD CLASS MARKET TO MAKE SECOND ROUND OF DONATIONS

Five regional food banks continue to be pressured by unprecedented and increasing demand and a simultaneous decline in donations.

With regional food banks experiencing unprecedented demand, Big Y World Class Market (Big Y) is providing an additional $125,000 in support to address the rise in food insecurity. With the donations made in March 2020, Big Y has provided $250,000 in financial assistance to area food banks in addition to the healthy surplus food it provides to them on a weekly basis. Using the estimate that every dollar donated provides four meals, the Big Y financial assistance amounts to 1 million meals.

“Our goal, our mission, is to feed families,” explained Charlie D’Amour, President and CEO of Big Y. “We have people in our communities that are really struggling to get food on their table. The role of food banks serving local neighborhoods has never been more important.”

The donation will be split equally by The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, the Worcester County Food Bank, and the Greater Boston Food Bank in Massachusetts, as well as Foodshare and the Connecticut Food Bank in Connecticut.

As part of the commitment to hunger relief in its neighborhoods and ongoing partnerships with regional food banks, Big Y provided an estimated $11.5 million of healthy surplus food to these organizations in 2019. This healthy surplus food donation amounts to an estimated 5.7 million meals, two-thirds of which include donations of meat and fresh produce as well as bakery and nonperishable grocery items. Frozen food and dairy products account for one-third of the annual donation.

“Local feeding sites are receiving new patrons from the ranks of the recently unemployed who have never sought food assistance before,” stated Andrew Morehouse, Executive Director of The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts. “The coronavirus poses an even greater threat to vulnerable households at risk of hunger.”

Catherine D’Amato, President and CEO of the Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB) reported that “According to a recent poll, GBFB estimates anywhere from 17,400 to 24,500 new households sought help during the week of May 4 alone in Eastern Massachusetts. We are spending all fundraised dollars on purchasing food, investments in our team members, the capacity of our 500+ partner network, and the safety and cleanliness of our facility. While the food supply chain has gone from reliable to variable, we have been required to adapt.”

Worcester County, in Massachusetts, is experiencing a similar rise in food insecurity. “Worcester County Food Bank is inspired and encouraged by the community’s outpouring of support for our mission and their neighbors struggling with food insecurity during this challenging time of COVID-19 and economic upheaval,” said Worcester County Food Bank Executive Director Jean G. McMurray. “Together with our network of food pantries and community meal programs, we are providing help and hope during this time of so much uncertainty.”       

In Connecticut, Daniel Gomez, COO and Interim Chief Executive Officer of the Connecticut Food Bank stated that “The situation is changing rapidly, but our analysis predicts that the Connecticut Food Bank will need an additional $7.8 million over the next six months to provide food assistance to everyone facing hunger. This figure is based on projections that the pandemic could push as many as 187,000 more Connecticut residents into food insecurity.”

Jason Jakubowski, President and CEO of Foodshare, which serves Hartford and Tolland counties in Connecticut explained that “Over 70% of those seeking our assistance are experiencing food insecurity for the first time, and we know that this need will likely continue long after the initial COVID-19 response period. Our current response has necessitated a sharp increase in expenses; we are currently spending in excess of $100,000 each week on purchased food and other expenses related to the pandemic.


Above & Beyond: A Message To Our Employees

"I can't say enough about our employees. They are all amazing and have risen to the occasion. We are so grateful for everything they've done." - Maggie D'Amour, Store Director, Big Y.

Supporting Each Other: A Message From Charles

"Every day that goes by customers are going to see that our stores are being restocked, product levels continue to normalize, and I think that will create an element of comfort for our customers." - Charles D'Amour, CEO, Big Y.


Updates

Big Y freezes prices on over 10,000 items through July 1, 2020.

More items are expected to be added to the freeze list. Some freeze list prices may actually go down during this period, but none would go up, and Big Y’s popular sales will continue. Despite the current volatility of food prices, Big Y has pledged to hold the line on these price freeze items.

“This is a critical time for our customers and we wanted to recognize that with more than just words of support,” explained Michael D’Amour, Chief Operating Officer for Big Y. “We have all been though a tough period, and there are certainly challenges ahead, but we felt it was time to do more to help.”

Items on the list include:

  • Big Y Boneless Chicken Breast; $2.99lb
  • Red and Green Seedless Grapes: $2.99lb
  • Thomas English Muffins 12-13oz white, whole grain, honey, or cinnamon: $4.49
  • Klondike Bars 14-27oz: $3.79
  • Tropicana Orange Juice 52 oz All Varieties: $3.99
  • Kraft Mac & Cheese, 7.25oz: $1
  • Big Y Butter 16oz Quarters Salted or Unsalted: $2.99
  • World Classics Trading Company American Cheese in the deli: $5.99lb
  • DiGiorno Pizza 17.02-31.5oz select varieties: $5.99
  • Big Y spring water 24 pack 16.9 oz bottles: $2.99
  • Skippy Peanut Butter 15-16.3oz: $2.49
  • Cheerios 8.9 oz regular, 9oz multigrain, 10.8oz Honey Nut: $3.49
  • Chobani Greek Yogurt 5.3 oz Original, Flip or Less Sugar: 10 for $10
  • Driscoll Strawberries 16oz: $3.99lb

“We are going to do more,” suggested D’Amour. “Our customers are like family to us and we want to help them and the communities we serve.” 


ADJUSTED STORE HOURS

In order to give our store teams time to conduct additional preventive sanitation and restock product on shelves, we have adjusted our hours of operation. View our Adjusted Store Hours here.


ENHANCED SANITARY PROCEDURES

We strive to provide a safe and clean environment for both customers and employees. We have implemented additional daily sanitary practices. Areas of our enhanced cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting focus include carriages and carriage handles; handle baskets; self-checkout areas; time clocks; phones; customer and employee bathrooms including bathroom door handles; frozen food, dairy, meat, seafood and bakery door handles; all counter tops; all food preparation areas; and employee break rooms. 

Our cashiers, service clerks and other frontline staff pause every hour to wipe down and sanitize their work areas. These hourly wipe-downs include registers, register belts, POS screens, cashier and customer displays, EFT terminals and key-pads, and acrylic sheet shields.

Big Y's food handling departments are following the appropriate FDA Food Code guidelines for food-handling with regard to glove usage and hand washing. We also have provided non-food handling gloves to employees performing cleaning tasks as well as to cashiers and baggers who choose to use gloves during their shift. These employees must change their gloves every hour after they complete their hourly cleaning and hand washing.

Big Y Express Enhanced Safety Procedures:
*Fuel pump handles and exterior customer contact points are being cleaned/sanitized every hour by trained associates.
*Stores are keeping a log this cleaning throughout the day.
*During key times associates can be found outside performing these tasks.
*All fuel pumps have a built in help button, if pressed it will alert the associate to come outside so we can assist customers who need help fueling at the pump.


POLICY UPDATES

  • HIGH DEMAND ITEMS - We continue to work closely with our suppliers to source and distribute high demand items to our Big Y World Class Market Locations. In some cases, manufacturers of these highly sought-after products have been moved to an allocation model of distribution, so supplies are limited. Our teams are working diligently to source and deliver the products our customers need most. In an effort to be fair to all of our customers, we have imposed purchase limits on certain items that are in short supply. We ask for your patience regarding supply disruptions.
  • PRODUCT RETURNS / REFUNDS - For health and wellness concerns, we are unable to accept product returns/refunds at this time. This will apply to purchases made on or after 3/10/2020.
  • RAINCHECKS - Due to unprecedented demand and ongoing supply disruptions, we will not be issuing rain checks until further notice.
  • HOT BAR - Our Hot Bar, Wing Bar, Soup Bar and Olive Bar will be closed until further notice.  We will have Cold Soup and Olive Bar items, Pre-packaged Hot Tenders and Wings, Pre-packaged Hot Soup and Pre-packaged Hot Mac & Cheese available in grab and go containers for your convenience.
  • SAMPLING - We have discontinued all sampling practices indefinitely.
  • SCHOOL TOURS & BIRTHDAY PARTIES - We have stopped all school tours and in-store children’s birthday parties until further notice.

Big Y Foods, Inc. is currently experiencing an understandably high volume of customer questions and media inquiries. Please know that we are focused on operations at this time and will be for the foreseeable future. Therefore, our direct communications must be much more focused and limited. The best places for updates are our social media channels and our website.

Lastly, we wish to acknowledge the tremendous sacrifice of our employees who continue to serve our customers. They have families and worries as well, so we hope that their efforts will be recognized by those visiting our stores.