Craig County has “pandemic comm-UNITY”

Pam Dudding
Contributing writer

Since the onset of the coronavirus watch, the citizens of Craig County have reached out to care for one another in many facets.

Staff and volunteers helping to bag meals and box them for delivery. 

The Craig County Public School (CCPS) system recently announced they would still be caring for their students as staff and teachers work diligently to prepare homework assignments to be picked up or reachable online. The goal is for students not to get behind on their studies as classes may not resume this year.

CCPS personnel are preparing meals for every student and delivering them on their original bus routes. “Not only are they bringing meals for my kids that go to school, they also include something for my little one too and the food is really good,” said one mother. “Craig County is a wonderful place to live.”

On March 18, CCPS announced that they served 860 meals that day. “Many thanks to Sherry Crowder, our cafeteria, bus drivers and staff that assisted with distribution,” said a Facebook post.

If anyone was missed or wants to be added to the delivery, they are encouraged to contact the School Board Office at 540-864-5191.

The bags include a breakfast and lunch, and meals are available for all children in Craig County ages 18 and under. Children do not have to be enrolled in the CCPS school system to qualify.

On March 18, Craig County Public Schools delivered 860 meals to local children by bus. Superintendent Jeanette Warwick is committed to making sure that every child has food to eat at home.

Teacher Andrea Persinger added, “I want to thank the parents that are supporting our school and are appreciative to the hard work that went into gathering information for each and every child. In 31 years of teaching, I’ve never ever seen anything like this. It’s a learning curve for all of us. Please don’t put education on the back burner and treat this as just another snow day. Education and growing your brain are just too important.”

The Loaves and Fishes program had to postpone their weekly meal deliveries.

However, Trena Boudreaux said, “We will not be delivering meals until the restrictions that the Governor has imposed are lifted. We are sad for our families that we are so blessed to visit with each week. We feel that in time we will be back. Please know that if there is someone in need of food, we will provide. Please contact Trena Boudreaux (864-8006), Jean Bradley (864-5429) or Karen Bradley (864-6106) if you know such a person.”

Others commented that they would be happy to help cook or do grocery shopping.

The Gopher Market shared that if anyone needs it, they will be happy to pump their gas so they do not have to get out of their vehicle.

The local grocery and general stores are working on ordering supplies as fast as they can and setting up ways to distribute items so more families can obtain the needed staples. Though people are stocking up on toilet paper, disinfectants and bleach, fruits are also being cleaned out of the produce aisle and shelves. Extra Vitamin C, Zinc and elderberry supplements are flying off the counters as fast as they come in too. “We are happy to see citizens in Craig not only buy needed supplies, but also the things that can help build up their personal immune system to help fight any type of virus that may come along,” store personnel emphasized.

The Pine Top Restaurant has been limiting the number to ten persons in their restaurant, abiding by the Governors “capacity to 10 patrons.“ Said multiple employees, “We’re doing all we can to help those who depend on us to fix their meals every day. Some people rely on the smaller restaurants for their main meals because they do not or cannot cook.”

Other restaurants are working diligently to offer their services under the new regulations as well.

The Main Street Pharmacy has offered to bring prescription medications to people’s vehicles for those who may have symptoms or unable to leave their cars.

The Emergency Medical teams are working around the clock with a newly designed website that can be accessed for the latest information as well as a direct email address to use if one has specific questions.

People are taking care of their elderly families and neighbors with care and caution.

“That is true comm-UNITY,” many have shared.

Amber Saul, a New River Valley resident, has started a group called, New River Valley Elderly (which also includes disabled and immunocompromised) to get needed supplies to them during this time of pandemic caution.

The protocol is simple:

  • Call, email or message Saul with request including specific items
  • Give address for delivery or state if someone can pick it up
  • When delivered, items have to be left outside on the porch as the drivers do not enter a home
  • Forms with address info have to be completed in the case anyone comes in contact with a coronavirus person
  • Donations are welcome, monetary and supplies

Saul, who can be reached at 540-505-0379 or,  added, “The goal is for all of us to get through this pandemic safely with our health as well as making sure others have needed supplies in case of a quarantine.”

All churches canceled their in-home meetings and many went on to live stream for the first time, creating a healthy selection of Christian messages to listen to.

Though hugs are almost non-existent right now, it’s nice to see people blow kisses, shout out “I love you” from a distance and give virtual hugs, creating big smiles everywhere.

There has been much encouragement amongst citizens. “We are one big family here in Craig County when we’re in a crisis,” one lady shared with a smile. “It’s sort of like your own family. We can get angry with one another and maybe even disagree from time to time, but when hard times hit, we are family and you better not mess with any of mine.”

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