NewsCovering Kern County


Mercy and Memorial Hospitals start on-site grocery store to support staff working during COVID-19

Posted at 4:44 PM, Apr 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-08 19:44:05-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Heading to the grocery store now is not as easy as it used to be, especially for those working in hospitals during COVID-19.

So, instead of hospital workers heading out to the grocery store after working long hours, Mercy and Memorial Hospitals, decided to bring the grocery store to their staff.

Mercy and Memorial Hospitals announced today they will be partnering with Samco Food Stores and Grimmway Farms to launch on-site grocery stores inside their hospitals.

“It’s the nurses, it’s the physicians, it’s the techs and the orderlies and the other people that are working long hours right now, that may not be able to get out and do their normal grocery shopping. So, this is a way for us to be able to provide, and make it easier for them, knowing that they’re going to be spending a lot of time in the hospital right now,” said Ken Keller, CEO and President at Bakersfield Memorial Hospital.

They are being called the “Mercy and Memorial Markets.” Their goal is to help employees and their families get food and other household items, since many are working long shifts, unable to head to the stores and get hard to find basic items.

“The issue in many cases right now is them having the time to get back out and do their grocery shopping. We have a lot of people that are working extended hours. And we know that over the next month or so it’s going to continue to get worse as we get more patients, spending more time caring for those patients. So, this a vehicle we are trying to offer to make it easier to get access to some of this stuff,” said Keller.

The markets will be stocked with items such as eggs, milk, fresh produce, bread and other essential food and household items as available. They will be open to employees seven days a week, during regular cafeteria hours.

In a press release Mercy and Memorial Hospitals announced, Samco Food Stores will be donating two thousand individual water bottles and hand sanitizers. Grimmway Farms will supply carrots, cauliflower, spinach, and romaine lettuce. Sweet potatoes provided by Valpredo Farms. Costco stores will help supply toilet paper and additional paper goods. The Bakersfield Condors have donated numerous restaurant meal gift cards for hospital staff.