EDMONTON -- A special shopping event for seniors that began at an Edmonton Sobeys store is expanding to locations across Canada.

Belmont Sobeys came up with the idea: a dedicated time when seniors can do their grocery shopping in a calmer environment with extra help if they need it.

Now it is being embraced in more stores across the country.

The national "Seniors Shopping Hour" events will begin on Friday, March 20.

"We'll devote the first hour of operations at many of our stores to those most vulnerable and those who require extra attention, particularly seniors," president and CEO Michael Medline said in a written release.

The company encouraged people to continue to help their neighbours, friends and family as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.