The recent catastrophic ice storm of last week brought out the best in many local citizens as they served much needed food to those in need and emergency workers as a result of Price Chopper in Hardy's power outage.
Renee Clay-Circle, owner of Price Chopper in Hardy realized on Wednesday that the electricity would not be restored before the numerous coolers of perishables and frozen items in the store would begin thawing. Rather than wait it out and risk the spoilage of the food, store manager, Dan Seward, began the task of coordinating and dispersing the food to those in need in this hard hit area.
Circle said approximately $25,000 worth of meat, frozen foods, dairy, produce and bakery items were dispersed to the city of Hardy, Red Cross, Down Home Country Kitchen and local churches and shelters for assistance in serving the community hot meals.
Hardy Mayor Nina Thornton said that the city of Hardy was given 17 overflowing cartloads of turkeys, pies, roasts, hams, bread and other much needed items. These items were taken to the Hardy Fire Department, which was being powered by a generator and was the staging area for emergency personnel, including firemen, police officers and other emergency workers. The food was immediately cooked on one gas stove and a grill and served to police officers, emergency workers, National Guardsmen and citizens who needed food. Some of the junior firemen exhibited ingenuity by burying the frozen pies and cobblers in ice by the fire station to prevent them from thawing because they couldn't use the oven until electricity was restored. Thornton said this worked wonderfully.
The firemen also took care-packages to homebound people within the city. "Any and everyone who needed food could get it," Thornton said. "This food has fed so many and none was wasted." She went on to comment on the generosity of Price Chopper and the assistance that was provided with loading the carts.
Food was also donated to Down Home Country Kitchen. The restaurant cooked and served hot meals to the Entergy workers who have been working around the clock to restore power during this unprecedented ice storm.
One local business owner who was fortunate enough to maintain electricity during most of the storm, came to get food from Price Chopper and then cooked it and delivered it to people they knew who could not get out of their homes in Cherokee Village and Ozark Acres.
Although this was a terrible loss for the grocery store, the generosity exhibited by Clay-Circle and the help given by all those who received and dispersed the food was a testament not only to the human spirit but the greatness of the community as a whole.