Dollar General Corporation announced plans last week to encourage its stores to dedicate the first hour of each shopping day to senior shoppers. All stores will also close one hour early for extra cleaning.

The temporary changes would also impact the three McLean County Dollar General stores, located in Calhoun, Livermore and Sacramento.

The efforts, according to the announcement, are a means to combat the spread of COVID-19 through the communities served by Dollar General stores. The specified shopping time allows for more vulnerable patrons to make needed purchases at the beginning of the day while avoiding large crowds.

The announcement stated the changes are in line with the company’s mission of “serving others.”

“In keeping with our mission and our ongoing commitment to serve our communities, we are dedicating the first hour of each day to seniors. We appreciate our customers’ understanding of our decision,” said CEO Todd Vasos in the announcement. “During these unprecedented times, Dollar General is diligently working to meet the ongoing needs of our customers and communities.”

Dollar General stores will also close one hour early to provide extra time for cleaning and restocking. All three McLean locations will open at 8 a.m. daily and close at 9 p.m. rather than the normal 10 p.m. Senior shopping hour will be from 8-9 a.m. daily.

Additionally, the Dollar General Corporation plans to hire up to 50,000 more employees company-wide by the end of April as stores reach a higher than usual demand during the global COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Dollar General family continues to do its part in helping our customers and neighbors during these unprecedented times. We invite individuals looking to start or grow a career, as well as for those whose job may be temporarily impacted by COVID-19, to apply for opportunities,” Dollar General’s senior vice president, Kathy Reardon, said in the announcement.

Christie Netherton, cnetherton@mcleannews.com, 270-691-7360

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