Amid pandemic, community pulls together to provide food, supplies to those in need

LANCASTER – While the war against the coronavirus pandemic rages on in Ohio, Lancaster residents are helping their neighbors by providing food and supplies to those in need. 

Brian Widener and his two daughters — Faith, 5, and Cecilia, 6 —  are among those helping elderly residents by providing free rolls of toilet paper.

Widener said his daughters were eager to help provide toilet paper to seniors after he told them about how others were stocking up due to the coronavirus

LANCASTER – While the war against the coronavirus pandemic rages on in Ohio, Lancaster residents are helping their neighbors by providing food and supplies to those in need. 

Brian Widener and his two daughters — Faith, 5, and Cecilia, 6 —  are among those helping elderly residents by providing free rolls of toilet paper.

Widener said his daughters were eager to help provide toilet paper to seniors after he told them about how others were stocking up due to the coronavirus

“I said ‘sure, if that’s what you want to do’,” Widener said. “So we went and tried to find as much as we could. I ended up finding 168 rolls. We went to about four or five different stores and got a couple big packs, individually bagged two or three of them at a time, then handed them out.” 

Widener said he was impressed that his daughters were so willing to help others at such a young age. 

“They’re both just like that,” Widener said. “They’ll help out at school. I get stuff from teachers all the time saying that they’re wonderful kids, so it wasn’t a shock to me. But it was surprising that it went to that extreme.”

Widener, his fiancee Shasta, and their daughters handed out rolls to seniors outside of Kroger on North Memorial Drive. He said he still has a few rolls left and plans to deliver them to nursing homes who need them.

Widener and his family aren’t the only ones helping their community during the COVID-19 outbreak. 

FreeChee, a food truck designed to help communities during emergency situations, gave away 300 sandwiches at Mount Pleasant Elementary on Tuesday, March 24. 

Owner Billy Smith said law enforcement officers even pitched-in to help carry food from the food truck to people waiting in their cars to help with social distancing. 

“This takes a team and we’re just one of the wheels on the trailer,” Smith said.

Under normal circumstances, FreeChee helps communities affected by natural disasters. For example, Smith and his crew traveled south to Nashville in early March to help those affected by deadly tornadoes that swept through Middle Tennessee. 

Now, FreeChee is working to provide for those affected by the coronavirus pandemic by providing soup and sandwiches to residents of Lancaster and Fairfield County.

“This is bigger than anyone ever expected,” Smith said. 

Published by Logan Weaver

News Reporter and Graphic Designer

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