Hope During the Pandemic: Shenandoah Valley Businesses Support the Community

April 30, 2020

Giving back to local communities has never been more important than now that the world has been challenged by the Covid-19 virus. Many businesses in the Shenandoah Valley are going above and beyond to help those facing job interruptions and health risks. Read on to see how they are making a difference in these uncertain times by supporting the community with money, food, supplies, services, and volunteer hours.

Support for the Population in Need

Almost everyone has been hit hard by the epidemic, and the following businesses seek to alleviate the burden on the general population. From helping to feed people, to providing childcare, to offering a convenient way to order staple provisions for curbside pickup, here’s what our businesses are doing.

White’s Wayside in Augusta County is helping its customers save money by providing produce at cost from its weekly deliveries. The restaurant has also adopted a “pay as you can” policy for customers who need assistance making ends meet. Additionally, it’s offering free deliveries to keep seniors safe.

Another business helping the community stay safe and fed is Lexington’s Devils Backbone Outpost Tap Room & Kitchen. Customers order from the new Outpost Marketplace’s menu of food and cleaning staples and pick them up curbside. Families in need can reserve Give Back Packs, special affordable food boxes designed to feed families of four, no questions asked, at both Devils Backbone locations.The brewery has also turned its distillery toward producing hand sanitizer for local healthcare providers.

With students working on coursework remotely from their homes, Mary Baldwin University will provide campus space to house 30 Valley Mission clients during the epidemic. The space allows the shelter to better practice social distancing and isolation of any persons who get sick.

Waynesboro Family YMCA has directed all of its programming to supporting the community. In addition to providing childcare for children of essential workers, the YMCA has fed over 400 area families. They’ve been making grocery store runs for seniors, and supporting low-income and vulnerable families with gift cards, food, supplies, and shopping.

Rockingham County’s Massanutten Resort in partnership with concessionaire Shenandoah Provisions is preparing and delivering meals to senior citizens and residents in need in the McGaheysville, Elkton and Penn Laird communities around the resort.

Support for Restaurant Industry Workers

Despite a shift to carry-out dining options, restaurants and restaurant workers remain incredibly vulnerable at this time. Here are some Shenandoah Valley businesses dedicating resources to helping those who depend on the food industry to stay afloat.

Page County’s The Mimslyn Inn and its partners seek to help restaurant and hospitality workers who are laid off or can’t start their seasonal positions. Their Go-Fund-Me Funds 4 Food is raising funds to provide food, supplies, and gift certificates, and distribute them at a drive-thru, pop-up food hub. Not only does this help a sector of the population deeply affected by the virus, it also allows Page One, the community food pantry, to focus on other parts of the population.

Pale Fire Brewing Company, a craft brewery in downtown Harrisonburg, has teamed up with Sysco, Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance, and Digital Minerva for Pale Fire Helps. This food bank resource provides non-perishable items to restaurant industry workers from Harrisonburg and beyond.

Harrisonburg’s Magpie Diner & Bakery has yet to officially open, but its Magpie & Friends Market is already nourishing and sustaining the community by helping its partnered local producers, bakers, coffee roasters, and chefs distribute their products to the public in a no-touch, drive-thru format.

Support for Health Care Workers

Another vulnerable group is those who work in health care. They’re on the front lines facing exposure, and several of our businesses are expressing their gratitude with food and areas to rest and self quarantine.

After the temporary closure of its brick-and-mortar site, Waynesboro’s Hops Kitchen has been serving food from outdoor food tents and pop-up kitchens. Hops is donating 10% of April sales to the Augusta Health Foundation.

Another business making the most of a temporary closure to the public is Harrisonburg’s Sleep Inn. Instead of sitting empty, the 81-room hotel is providing free-of-charge rooms for local medical professionals who need to self-quarantine away from their families.

Inventive and helpful minds at Staunton Makerspace have been using 3D printing and laser cutting to create face masks for local health care workers and first responders. Makerspace members designed the masks, and after feedback from RMH nurses, they began producing them, with plans to make at least 1,200 or more, depending on supply of materials.

A wonderful way to show love is through food, and Staunton’’s Thai Staunton is demonstrating its appreciation for health care workers and staff at Augusta Health by providing and delivering healthy meals to help them weather the crisis and continue their important work..

Similarly, Mashita, a Korean restaurant in Harrisonburg, is coordinating with Sentara RMH to support healthcare workers and staff in various departments with food. Click here to donate and enter DONATION in the box for Recipient Name.

Shenandoah County residents are also inspiring in their support of first responders and medical staff. Restaurants are joining forces with donors from the public to provide meals and coffee. Sal’s Italian Bistro, R.L. Shillingburg & Son Air Conditioning and Heating, ERA Valley Realty, and realtor Abby Walters of Sager Real Estate, and a host of anonymous donors have all contributed money or food.

Other Ways Our Businesses Are Helping

Other businesses in the Shenandoah Valley are helping out any way they can. Shenandoah County’s Filibuster Distillery has joined the effort to fight hand sanitizer supply shortages by using the distillery to make sanitizer for county sheriff officers.

Shenandoah Moon, a Luray boutique specializing in fair-trade, locally made clothing is supporting the local arts community with the proceeds from handmade, washable face masks.The suggested donation of $5 gets split between the Page Valley Arts Council and Warehouse Art Gallery.

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