Updated: Apr 9, 2020
The coronavirus pandemic has turned the world upside down, but it’s during times like this that we are reminded of how strong our community is. Minnesota distilleries have partnered to make and donate hand sanitizer to Lake Region Healthcare, manufacturers have gone the extra mile to produce critical healthcare supplies in response to COVID-19, and community members have rallied around one another to offer support and hope. Many great things are happening in our city, and we wanted to highlight a few of the businesses and people who are making a difference during this time.
Service Food Market 2 Go
With Minnesota under a Shelter in Place order and Fergus Falls residents doing their part to flatten the curve, Service Food Market has stepped up to make it easier for people to get their groceries. The grocery store has expanded its services with its Service Food Market 2 Go, which offers curbside pickup and delivery within city limits. Recognizing the need for a safe way to get groceries, Jackie Formo and Jennifer Fronning, both from the Fergus Falls Area Chamber of Commerce, took a temporary leave of absence to develop and get the operation off the ground.
Orders can be placed by calling (218) 998-0145 or by emailing email@example.com. Service Food Market employees will shop for you and notify you once the order has been fulfilled. If you choose to pick up your groceries, they will set up a pickup time with you. Those who opt to have their groceries delivered will be notified with an estimated delivery time.
Fergus Falls Face Masks
Jennifer Karlgaard, a local mom, started a grassroots operation to sew masks and headbands for healthcare workers and community members. She originally intended to make and donate masks to cancer patients, purchasing enough supplies to make over 250 masks. Eventually, she began asking friends to help and provided them with a kit to make ten masks. Jennifer currently has five volunteers helping to sew masks with the kits, each of which contains flannel, cotton, elastic, and sewing directions.
Vintage Trims, another amazing Fergus Falls business, provides Jennifer with a place to drop off and pick up the kits and masks. The company also supplies Jennifer and her team with materials like thread and elastic, which have become difficult to find. Fergus Falls Face Masks has donated to individual community members, as well as local businesses including Don Pablo’s and LB Hospice. Orders are also being filled for PioneerCare, Vector Windows, and LB Homes.
With an understanding that many are under pressure financially, she gives the masks away for free. Jennifer notes, “Knowing very well many people are having financial hardships, I refused to put a price tag on my masks. If they are able, I ask for a donation to keep the project going. I want people to know they are loved, cared for, and feel safe even in this time of uncertainty.”
Ringdahl Ambulance has offered resources to New York City as they deal with an overwhelming amount of coronavirus cases. Crews are currently on-site assisting with emergency calls in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. Located in the northern part of Queens, the iconic park is home to the Billie Jean King Tennis Center, which has been converted into a temporary hospital with 350 beds. The facility is currently taking patients who are not infected with the virus, although that may change as the situation evolves.
Don Pablo’s Mexican Restaurant
Don Pablo’s Mexican Restaurant is showing gratitude for those working on the frontline during the pandemic. The Fergus Falls restaurant is offering a 25% discount to all first responders, emergency, law enforcement, and healthcare workers for the entire month of April. Orders can be placed by calling (218) 998-6394.
The Fergus Falls Downtown Riverfront Council (FFRDC) has launched a special Downtown Chowdown initiative to support downtown restaurants impacted by COVID-19. FFDRC l will be giving 250 vouchers worth $10 to the general public at the Food shelf and Salvation Army. Additional vouchers will be given to emergency responders, healthcare employees, and other essential workers. Many downtown restaurants are participating, and it is expected that more will be added, so be sure to follow the FFDRC on Facebook.
For more ways the Fergus Falls community has banded together to support one another during this time, visit our press release page, or follow Greater Fergus Falls on Facebook. You can also find the latest information and resources regarding COVID-19 and related funding on our website. If you have questions or would like assistance navigating available funding programs, please contact the Greater Fergus Falls team.