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By Erin Smith

There was an air of excitement on Monday morning as Food Lion employees and curious shoppers gathered at the front of the Elizabethtown grocery store for a ribbon cutting ceremony. The ribbon cutting was to celebrate the official start of a new service at the store called Food Lion to Go.

Food Lion Store Manager Jeffrey Preddy welcomed the guests and said, “Today is the official launch of our Food Lion to Go program, which means you will be able to order online and pick up groceries right outside the store in our four reserved spaces.”

Preddy said the new service allows customers to sign up on Food Lion’s website. Then they can shop the store online, make their selections, and then enter an estimated pick up time into the app. The order is then sent to the store and a Food Lion to Go representative will prepare the order for the customer. The customer arrives at the store and parks in one of the four reserved Food Lion to Go parking spaces, calls the number given on the display and their selections will be brought to their car.

Preddy said the store has prepared an addition at the front of the store complete with freezers, coolers and warming units to hold items while waiting for the customer to arrive to pick them up.

Allison Benson will serve as the Food Lion to Go Manager at the Elizabethtown store, according to Preddy.

Steven Harwood, who is from the Food Lion Corporate Office and works with the Food Lion to Go program in Salisbury, was also present for the ribbon cutting.

“Thank you for all the hard work bringing this together,” said Harwood. “You had to bring it together in a really short amount of time.”

Harwood said Food Lion to Go is just the beginning of what e-commerce is and what it will mean to Food Lion in the future.

“We know that in today’s world, everything is pretty much done through a cell phone. So when you are coming to the store, you can pull out your phone and have your groceries within two hours time,” said Harwood.

Preddy said Food Lion plans to launch seven more Food Lion to Go locations today (Monday, April 15) and add more than 101 Food Lion to Go locations by the end of August.  Currently, there are 53 locations already using the program.

The Food Lion store in Elizabethtown will be celebrating the new service throughout the day on Monday, April 15th, with raffles, free items, and assisting customers with signing up for Food Lion to Go.