To say the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, has disrupted our communities would be a tremendous understatement. Nearly every facet of our lives has been impacted or upended because of the enhanced health and safety measures put in place to prevent the spread of this devastating infection. At USA Nuclear, we felt compelled to help our community through this difficult time. We knew we could make a difference, so we set to work.
When we heard that all schools in Prince William County would be closed, we formed a network of available child care providers who could support parents that needed the help. We tapped college students who were themselves sent home for the semester, teachers, parents, and others who could volunteer their time. We particularly wanted to be a resource for first responders, healthcare workers, and government employees – those on the front lines combatting the pandemic. We disseminated this directory of child care providers throughout the county, alleviating the pressure on many parents.
At Easter, we passed out thousands of Easter eggs to families in the region, so that children could still find joy in an egg hunt – even under a stay-at-home order. We felt that keeping this tradition alive and stoking a sense of normalcy would help relieve the stress and worry from so many societal changes.
Supporting restaurants, supporting families
Access to food and proper nutrition is another way USA Nuclear is supporting our community. We put together a meal delivery and pickup service that continues to help over 4,000 families several times each week. By giving families a break from traveling to the grocery store and preparing a meal (particularly older individuals who are at higher risk for infection), we reduced the possibility of exposure while having a direct impact on local restaurants and small businesses.
Every week, a link is provided to residents in the county via Facebook. We work closely with restaurant owners to schedule pickups and deliveries, while ensuring all social distancing guidelines are followed. The process is simple. Participants order food online via the link and then pick up the food on the delivery date for each restaurant. The driver remains in their car and is handed their food through the window. Not only is the process easy, efficient, and safe, it also helps small business owners and their employees keep the lights on. Participating restaurants include Ford’s Fish Shack, Out of the Blue, The Conche, Baskin Robins, Coyote Grill, Ciao, The Bone, BarTaco, and Anitas – and the list keeps growing as we enter our seventh week.
Prince William County residents queue in their cars to pick up their food.
With special thanks
Our work in the community has been made possible through some wonderful collaborations. We’d especially like to thank Park Valley Church for allowing us the use of their parking lot to stage our activities. Andrea Khoury of Khoury PR Media Group was instrumental in connecting us with local restaurant owners who could benefit from our program. We could not have made nearly the same impact without these generous and helpful partners.