St. Stephen – Grocery stores have empty shelves, and many other businesses have been closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19. People are self-isolating, and only going out when absolutely necessary. In most cases, people have everything they need, and they are prepared to hunker down for at least a few weeks. Unfortunately, not everyone has been able to prepare, often due to a lack of transportation so they could stock up on grocery and other necessary items.
One such person is Halee Corning of St. Stephen. The mother of three is unable to get to a store for supplies and groceries she needs in order to care for her family. Her husband is working out west, and has their only vehicle, so she has no means of transportation to get to the grocery store.
“Unfortunately, my husband works away, and he has the vehicle at the moment. He isn’t able to travel back home so I had to look for someone who was able to bring groceries,” said Corning.
With most people self-isolating, there aren’t many that she could ask to help. She was also afraid stores would run out of items she needs. So, she reached out on Facebook, and Racheal Defazio, a mother to two young children and also from St. Stephen, answered that call for help, offering to make sure Corning received what she needed from the Superstore.
“She posted on Facebook, asking if someone could take her to get some things, or drop off some essentials until she could find a way. She has no transportation, and is extremely worried nothing will be left. So, I offered to do a grocery order for her and bring it,” said Defazio.
Corning said she is thrilled Defazio’s generosity. With no vehicle at her disposal, she is still worried about the coming weeks and months. She said she has enough groceries to last for about a month, and then she will find herself in the same predicament once again.
“We were in the midst of buying another vehicle, but it’s hard considering what’s been happening over the last few weeks. I don’t want to be pessimistic. I don’t want to to be that person, but yeah, definitely going to be an issue for me. He’s not going to be able to come home. I’ve stocked up for a month, but after this I’m going to have to figure out another way to get groceries and live.”
Defazio planned to go and pick up the groceries on a Friday, and placed the grocery order online through PC Express on Thursday night. She said she is very glad that she did, because store shelves are emptying fast. She said a friend called her on Friday morning to tell her that there was “nothing left” in many local stores.
“I chose to do the PC Express, and pick up items that way,” said Defazio. “Now I’m more concerned there will be nothing left. The shelves are already empty everywhere this morning.”
In a strange twist of events, Defazio said the brakes snapped on her truck as she was waiting in line to pick up the grocery order. Luckily, she was able to find another mother who was able to deliver the items to Corning.
Corning would like to thank Defazio for coming to her aid by bringing her a grocery order, and also said that she can’t think of a better community to live in. She said she is grateful to be able to live in a community filled with people who care about one another and will help out in times of need.
“I would just like to be able to tell everyone about the gratitude I have, and the gratefulness that we have a community that’s willing to help in such desperate times. If we didn’t, there’d be a lot of people in despair. Rachael, she didn’t have to do that, but out of the kindness of her heart she’s doing it because she knows that people need help. I really do appreciate that.”
Defazio said she is trying as much as she can to help as many people as possible during this time of uncertainty. She has been doing grocery runs, utilizing online ordering in order to maintain social distancing. She hopes the self-isolation and business closures won’t affect the local economy too badly when it is all said and done.
“I’m doing my part and helping as many people as I can during this craziness,” said Defazio. “I’m really scared for the economy right now. Saint Andrews and our little town are going to take a hit hard. This saddens me.”