MOUNT GILEAD — Drug Mart customer Paula Mangrum came to shop for a few necessities Thursday and also picked up some groceries for an elderly couple in her neighborhood.
Drug Mart store manager,Kristi Hardy said she sees this outreach in the community every day.
“Some people are struggling,” Hardy said. “But you see on Facebook and so many other places that people are helping each other and getting groceries and other needed items for their elderly neighbors.”
Hardy said the store has seen a definite increase in business since last week when schools closed. It is as busy as Christmas Eve, their busiest day of the year.
“People are generally in a good mood, but yesterday there was some grumpiness as customers couldn’t get some items,” Hardy said. The store is out of water and are short of many items that will be coming in, including bread and frozen foods.
Parents Amy and Jeremy Barr of Mount Gilead are coping with school closing and some work adjustments. Their daughter, Carolyn is a second grader in Mandy Rocks class at Park Avenue School.
“We got packets of lessons for three weeks,” Amy said. “They also sent home books for reports and the math book. We’re pacing work through the day and doing OK. We used to home school, so this isn’t real new for us.”
School also has suggestions for physical education, art and music, “We have home dance parties and went out on the porch the other day and waved and talked to the neighbor kids.”
The class is also using the app and website, “Class DoJo.” They can record videos, take pictures and do reports online there. Amy said they were told Spectrum is providing free Internet for some families who don’t have other access.
Retired Mount Gilead Public Library Librarian Pat Nesbitt said she doesn’t remember anything like this.
“There aren’t many places we can go right now,” said Nesbitt who misses her Silver Sneakers class at Seniors on Center.
Nesbitt said their instructor, Joanne Trainer, gave them the option of taking weights and other gear home. She is trying to keep up with some exercises.
“I’m calling friends and family,” said Nesbitt. She is concerned for her brother-in-law David Bartman who had an injury and her sister at a rest home in Galion, who is confined to her room.
“I just hope our church continues,” Nesbitt who is a long time member of First Presbyterian Church in Mount Gilead.
Tim Hoffman of Hoffman Office Supply hopes residents continue to support local businesses. He said he has not seen a big change in his business over the past week.
“I would say business now is better than anticipated,” Hoffman added. Orders and online are up somewhat and walk-ins are down a little.
After Gov. Mike DeWine’s announcement on March 5 he saw a lot change. He said his five suppliers had plenty in stock the previous day. By the next day the suppliers were out of hand sanitizer and toilet paper.
“People really need to support local businesses like mine and local True Value stores.” He also encouraged people to patronize the local “mom and pop” restaurants like Sames &Cook, La Cabinita and The End Zone in Mount Gilead.
Edison Depot, Edison Quick Stop and Boondock’s in Fulton are among eateries in the county offering take-out.