Local restaurant, non-profit announce positive returns that left because of COVID

Published: Dec. 23, 2021 at 7:06 PM EST
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FORT MILL, S.C. (WBTV) - In the past 20 months industries have been hit hard seemingly with problem after problem.

First, the pandemic caused many restaurants, shops and even non-profits to close to stop the spread. Then, when they open back up there is a massive labor shortage with some restaurants ditching lunch hours and closing certain days just to make ends meet. Now, with inflation on the rise and the cost of food skyrocketing, it seems as though it is not letting up.

However, things are looking up for two different places right here in our community.

Christmas music echoes throughout Killington’s in Fort Mill as people enjoy their lunch, but lately, times have not been too festive.

”Exhausting. It has been exhausting I’ll be honest,” says owner Greg Roderick.

Roderick says rising food costs and labor shortages make rebounding from the problems caused by the pandemic even harder.

”It has made it as challenging if not more challenging than COVID itself at times,” he explains.

But the restaurant is turning a corner making the announcement on Facebook they will be opening the doors again on Mondays. Roderick explained the restaurant closed on Mondays because of staffing shortages and the cost to be open that day. However, even with closing, he says there was always a plan to reopen it.

”Those kinds of signs definitely give you light at the end of the tunnel for lack of a better turn that we can get past this and we’re moving back to whatever the new normal will be,” he says.

Light at the end of the tunnel for those in need this time of year too. Volunteers at the Fort Mill Community Café are overjoyed to be back busily packing away food for the less fortunate after COVID shut them down.

”I felt very dead and I was unhappy that I didn’t get to help and I couldn’t participate,” says Darlene Smith, the kitchen supervisor at the Sisk Church kitchen.

She and the rest of the volunteers could not risk being around each other before vaccines came out. Between that and the pandemic checks going out, Don Murfin says it got harder to not only find people to volunteer but also to serve the people who needed it.

”Our count of people we could call on to take food out got smaller and smaller,” he says.

That is no problem now and the number of helpers is almost back to where they started, but another pivotal part of the team, the Community Café food truck, has not been able to get back in gear so easily.

”We made the call to shut down the food truck until all of this passes over. And for a while there, things were looking like they were getting better and then it got much worse,” says D. Murfin.

Now things are looking better. The team eagerly packing food away will have access to the food truck to deliver meals just in time for the new year. So Community Café can continue its mission, serving with love, one meal at a time.

”I love that truck. Yeah, that’s his baby. You probably saw on the side the slogan neighbors helping neighbors so that all may eat. And that’s what it’s all about,” says Linda Murfin.

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