by Kia O. Moore
Businesses and organizations in the Historic West End are pulling together to provide relief to residents on the west side. West End Fresh Seafood Market at 2206 Beatties Ford Road is working on several initiatives to help the community during COVID-19. They are providing free baby food, an extra clean work area with curbside service, and a fish sandwich themed Friday plate.
West End Fresh Seafood Market is serving as a distribution center for free all natural baby food. Owner Bernetta Powell explained that this was a joint effort between Carolina Farm Trust, Historic West End Partners, Council of Elders, and West End Fresh Seafood Market. They all came together to serve a segment of the community that was not getting attention during COVID-19. Powell explained, “The thing is everybody right now is feeding the older folks. But nobody was concentrating on babies.” Most businesses in the West End have been providing food to students 18 and under.
Over the past 3 weeks West End Fresh Seafood Market has been working to get the word out about the free baby food they are distributing. They have been posting on social media and connecting with area daycares to get in contact with parents. The baby food being offered is all natural, frozen, and for 6 months and older. West End Fresh Seafood Market has devoted a portion of its walk-in freezer to the Asa frozen baby food. There are two baby food options: (1) sweet potato, broccoli, and kale and (2) yellow and red beets, buttercup squash, and collards.
To gain access to the food all you have to do is visit West End Fresh Seafood Market. Powell said just to stop in and say I need some baby food and they will get some for you. The food is for anyone who needs soft foods. It is not only for babies. It is also for older folks and sick people who may not be able to eat solid food.
There is no documentation needed to get the baby food. The only thing West End Seafood may ask for is your contact information. This way you will be added to a list that informs you when more baby food shipments come in. “Right now we have about 200 or so left. We are giving them out while quantities last,” said Powell. People can come by and pick-up food Wednesday through Saturday between 11am to 6pm.
Store Cleaning and Curbside Service
Beyond the baby food, West End Seafood Market is making sure it provides services to the adult population on the west side. They are working with the health department to follow COVID-19 guidelines accordingly. “We have changed our hours to give us even more wipe down, clean up time. Not that we weren't doing that in the beginning we are just being more cautious now,” explained Powell. “We are washing down doorknobs every hour and the countertops too. We are wiping down the credit card machine and the vending machine every hour.” They have even installed a glass screen for the cashier and placed markings for staying 6-feet apart.
For added precaution, they are offering curbside service. “People can call in the order and we just bring it to the car. We're just trying to keep everything as minimal contact as we can,” explained Powell.
Customers can order raw or cooked fish, all they have to do is call 704-398-9001. Operation hours have moved to Wednesday through Saturday from 11am to 6pm, except for Friday. Fridays they are open from 10am - 7:30pm. Also, on Fridays the community is pouring back into West End Seafood with #FishSanwichFriday. It was started by community members Attorney Alesha Brown and Tiffany Fant. People are ordering fish sandwiches to show support for a business that has been serving the community for years.
If you are interested in getting free baby food or are looking for fish options be sure to stop by West End Fresh Seafood Market at 2206 Beatties Ford Road.