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SRQ DAILY May 4, 2020

Monday Business Edition

Monday Business Edition

"The process is working very well due to hard work of clinical research staff."

- Dr. Kirk Voelker, Sarasota Memorial Hospital Medical Director of Clinical Research
 

[Medical]  Elective Procedures Restores, Clinical Trials Continue at Area Hospitals
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

After weeks of prohibition during the COVID-19 pandemic, elective surgeries will begin again at Florida hospitals. That renews a critical source of revenue for hospitals that, despite being on the front lines of a health crisis, have seen many functions go dark.

Sarasota Memorial Hospital is now scheduling procedures, some delayed almost two months. “I am confident that we have the expertise and infection prevention precautions in place to safely resume operations for all of our patients and team caring for them,” said Sarasota Memorial CEO David Verinder.

Gov. Ron DeSantis initially ordered a ban on procedures out of concern for a shortage of protective equipment like face masks should hospitals be overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients. But with new cases on a gradual decline, DeSantis lifted that restriction as of today.

Kevin DiLallo, CEO of Manatee Memorial Hospital, said it’s welcome news operations can return, but stressed to the public that the pandemic is still impacting procedures at facilities. “I want to assure the public that we are doing everything we can to ensure the health and safety of patients and staff during this challenging time,” he said. “To give patients greater piece of mind, the hospital implemented additional safety protocols that include: screening temperature checks and health questions being asked at entry points before anyone is allowed to enter the hospital; deep cleaning and disinfection; suspended visitation; as well as practicing appropriate social distancing,”

Verinder noted that there have been advanced in rapid testing for COVID-19 that also allow better use of resources, namely that physicians can determine if patients have the coronavirus shortly after they are admitted rather than having to wait days for the Department of Health to return tests and assume a patient contagious for that entire time.

The financial hit for the hospital has been significant. SMH experienced a $16 million reduction in revenue in March alone as surgery cases dropped 50% and inpatient services dropped by 30%.

And advances continue, including locally. Manatee Memorial has been the site of clinical trials for the use of convalescent plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients to treat those suffering from the disease now. ““COVID-19 convalescent plasma (CCP) has the potential to offer effective therapy for patients with severe or life-threatening infection, due to the current pandemic utilizing health care systems, already in place,” said Dr. Eliot Godofsky, MMH clinical investigator.

SMH officials are closely monitoring use of the antiviral remdesivir, which has been fast-tracked by the Food and Drug Administration as a treatment. Locally, physicians have been allowed on a trial basis to give the anti-viral to all SMH patients who end up hospitalized on ventilators. While there’s only a small amount of data, Dr. Kirk Voelker, SMH medical director of clinical research said there’s promise.

“The process is working very well due to hard work of clinical research staff,” he said. 

[Sustainability]  Study Shows Recycling Success After One Year of Single-Stream Program

It’s been one year since the City of Sarasota launched its single-stream recycling program, and a recent study shows customers are on the right track with proper recycling and reducing contamination. The recycling composition study conducted by Kessler Consulting Inc. (KCI) earlier this year pulled representative samples from each of the City’s collection vehicles for one week, then hand-sorted them into 33 categories representing major types of recyclables and non-recyclable contamination. The study found that nearly 85 percent of the material was correctly placed in residential recycling carts. Some of the non-recyclable items identified included paper towels, plastic utensils and straws, plastic bags, clothing, construction debris, food waste, cat litter, dirty diapers, scrap metal, hoses, electronics and even full bags of garbage.

These types of contaminants can present many issues when they arrive at the recycling facility for processing, including lowering the value of the recycling streams on the secondary market and adding cost to remove and dispose of these materials. Some items like plastic bags and “tanglers” (rope, cords, hoses, etc.) can get wrapped around the facility’s sorting equipment, which can cause significant downtime, injuries to workers or damage to the equipment, thus further increasing costs that can get passed along to taxpayers.

“Our residents are doing a great job with recycling, but our goal will always be to have zero contamination,” said Public Works General Manager Todd Kucharski. “We’ll use the data from the study to refine our efforts to educate the public on the proper ways to recycle, and we look forward to conducting this same audit in the near future to see how we’ve improved as a community.” Many customers have good intentions, Kucharski said, but are guilty of “wish-cycling,” or placing items in their recycling carts in hopes that they can be recycled, even if they can’t.

For recyclable items, check the informational graphic found on the lid of 65-gallon City of Sarasota recycling cart that was delivered to customers last spring. Visit www.sarasotaFL.gov/BeCartSmart and type in an item to see how it can be properly recycled or disposed of. The City’s single-stream recycling program launched April 1, 2019. Approximately 15,000 new carts were distributed to residential customers, purchased in part with funds from a grant the City received from The Recycling Partnership. Previously, recyclables had to be separated and placed into two smaller bins. The new carts include a lid to keep materials from escaping and getting into storm drains and local waterways, as well as wheels so they can be easily rolled to the curb. 

For more info.

[Re-Openings]  Reyna’s Taqueria Limited Re-Opening Today and Cinco de Mayo Specials on Tuesday

Chef Gino Calleja, executive chef and proprietor of Reyna’s Taqueria, an authentic taste of Mexico, announces a limited re-opening of restaurant’s indoor and outdoor dining capacity starting today from 11am. Reyna’s Taqueria will strictly adhere to the CDC Guidelines and the Governor’s indoor and outdoor dining safety and sanitary restrictions. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Daily specials and the full current menu are available.

On Tuesday, May 5, 2020, Reyna’s Taqueria features Cinco de Mayo specials including: Reyna’s Taqueria is open Monday to Saturday from 11am to 9pm. Reynas Taqueria is located at The Commons Shopping Center, 935 North Beneva Road, Suite 701, Sarasota; 941-260-8343.

Reyna’s Taqueria prepares house-made, traditional Mexican food created by Chef Gino Calleja. Popular menu items include: Barbaocoa Sopes: Sopes are a unique Mexican item, a cousin of the tortilla, but are fried corn dough, hand-crafted into thick patties with raised edges, spread with refried black beans, filled with Guajillo Marinated Pork Shoulder, topped with lettuce, queso fresco, crema, avocado, and topped with salsa. Crispy Flash-Fried Cod Tacos are traditional Mexican tacos served warm avocado pico, onions, cilantro, red slaw, and topped with your choice house-made salsa. Steak Tortas, pressed sandwich with diced, marinated Rib Eye cooked with house seasonings, topped with Oaxaca cheese, onions, cilantro, avocado, and choice of salsa. "Reyna’s House-made Sangria" is refreshing and fruity, and is a Calleja family recipe.

Reyna’s Taqueria continues to offer curbside to-go and delivery options. 

Pictured: Chef Gino Calleja.

[Virtual Tour]  Behind-The-Scenes Virtual Tour of Manatee Performing Arts Center

Manatee Community Foundation is offering a virtual behind-the-scenes tour of Manatee Performing Arts Center for donors and those who are interested in community theatre. The one-hour tour will go backstage, exploring the wardrobe room, tiptoeing over the catwalk, and taking a set in the orchestra pit. For those that have always wondered how this cultural gem in downtown Bradenton improves the lives of children, volunteer actors, and the community, this insider’s peek will do the trick. The tour takes place on Wednesday, May 6 from 10 am to 11 am and features CEO Janene Amick. 

Register for the tour online.

[Firmo Construction]  Firmo Construction Continues Job Site Progress While Maintaining Safety Measures

As many local businesses and staff adjust operations to adapt to an ever-evolving situation, Firmo Construction, Sarasota-based construction management firm, continues to demonstrate the importance of safety for its stakeholders, partners, and job site workers alike. As an essential business during this time, Firmo's leadership team's focus is to serve the needs of the community, continue construction progress for their clients, and most importantly, ensure that operations are running safely and securely.

Firmo has taken proactive measures to ensure safety across active job sites and internal operations starting with utilizing new technology to conduct remote inspections while office staff works remotely and prohibiting unnecessary visitors to any work site. The operations team has established practices to handle personnel with probable or confirmed cases coronavirus, is requiring all on-site employees to follow recommended CDC and OSHA guidelines (such as wear masks and maintaining 6-foot social distancing) and is actively providing masks for workers who don't have them on site.

The Firmo team has also partnered with local breweries to provide sanitation supplies for job sites, has kept clients and stakeholders informed through media and its website, has employed job-site screening to determine if employees should work, and has planned ahead for supply chain or manufacturing delays by pre-ordering new material. As the team continually evaluates its operations and procedures and keeps its clients, partners, and stakeholders updated, Firmo Construction ensures the community it will continue to remain steadfast in its dedication to safety and progress until further notice from our government officials. 

Firmo Construction | 205 N. Orange Avenue Suite 301, Sarasota, FL 34236 | (941) 917-0494

Visit Firmo Construction's Website

[Recognition]  Fitch, S&P Give AA+ Rating to County Capital Improvement Project Bonds

Fitch Ratings and S&P Global Ratings each assigned 'AA+' ratings this week to Sarasota County's capital improvement revenue bonds, series 2020.
The bonds will be issued in the approximate amount of $18.6 million to fund capital improvement projects including the new downtown cooling plant, facilities energy conservation measure upgrades, and jail control and security upgrades.

The strong ratings are among the latest indicators of Sarasota County Government's economic health, the responsible stewardship of public dollars by county commissioners, and the hard work of financial management staff, according to County Administrator Jonathan Lewis.

"These strong ratings are a great accomplishment, especially as our organization continues to navigate the uncertainty related to COVID-19," Lewis added.

According to S&P, the rating reflects Sarasota County's broad and diverse tax base and strong debt service coverage; while Fitch's rating indicates that sales tax revenues will increase at a solid pace, among other factors. Fitch assigned a stable outlook to the bonds, while S&P assigned a negative outlook. The negative outlook was placed on the bonds due to the uncertainty related to the impact of COVID-19 on the pledged sales tax revenues.

"These independent ratings agencies have affirmed what we already know about the county's sound financial operations and the prudent actions of our county commission. These ratings reflect the commission's understanding of how the county will react to the challenges we're now facing," said Deputy County Administrator and Chief Financial Officer Steve Botelho. 

For more.

[Staff Announcement]  Ryan W. Owen Named Partner in Charge of Adams and Reese’s Sarasota Office

Adams and Reese is pleased to announce that Ryan W. Owen has been appointed the Partner in Charge of the firm’s Sarasota office by Managing Partner Gif Thornton. The firm has a Partner in Charge in each of its offices throughout the southern United States and Washington, D.C.

Owen is a litigator whose construction law practice includes advising and advocating for specialty and general contractors, owners, materials suppliers and equipment rental companies.

Outside the construction industry, Owen counsels clients in commercial and real estate litigation related to issues such as contract disputes, employment agreement and non-compete disputes, landlord/tenant conflicts, title insurance matters, corporate partnership disputes and claims related to Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act. On the transactional side of his practice, Owen drafts construction contracts and works on creditor’s rights matters.

A leader in the Sarasota business and legal community, Owen is a graduate of Leadership Sarasota. He has been named to Florida Super Lawyers “Rising Stars,” is the former director of the Sarasota County Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division and is the former chair of the Sarasota Association of Realtors/Sarasota County Bar Association Realtor/Attorney Joint Committee. He remains active in the Sarasota legal and business communities as Chair of the Sarasota County Bar Association Appellate Section and is a member of the Gulf Coast Builders Exchange and Risk Management Association. Owen received his J.D. from the University of Miami School of Law in 2006 and his B.A. from Washington and Lee University in 2002. 

[Merger]  Two Organizations Become One

Despite challenging times, this past Friday marked a momentous day in the history of both Marie Selby Botanical Gardens and Historic Spanish Point - as well as the Sarasota region. The two organizations officially become one - with two distinct campuses providing bayfront sanctuaries connecting people to air plants of the world, native nature, and our regional history. To learn more about Selby Gardens' adoption of Historic Spanish Point, click here.

“I know you will be happy to hear that we are currently developing the first phase of our plan to gradually reopen both campuses from their temporary closure, tied to the COVID-19 guidelines issued by the Governor on April 29” said Jennifer Rominiecki, president and CEO, “We are hopeful that we can welcome you back soon for safe social distancing in truly glorious settings. The exciting news is that if you are a member of either campus, your membership will now provide you with access to both!”

A new unified website will be launched later this spring. Also continuing is "Bring Selby Gardens to You" with digital content about both sites and their initiatives issued at 2 p.m. daily on social media channels. 

For more.

[Program]  Apply for Leadership Sarasota County Today

Leadership Sarasota County is an opportunity for growing leaders in our area to further develop their leadership abilities, make connections, and contribute to the incredible legacy of leadership in our region. Adult Leadership Sarasota County is a ten-month program tailored for emerging leaders and Youth Leadership Sarasota County is a nine-month program for rising high school juniors.  The deadline to apply is Friday, June 30. 

Click to access applications.

[Online Education]  Sarasota Bay Deep Dives

While our community events may be postponed, we at the Sarasota Bay Estuary Program and our partners are still working toward our mission of a healthy Sarasota Bay. Over the next few months, we'll interview local environmental experts live on Facebook and YouTube to ask them how their work is helping restore habitats, wildlife, and communities around Sarasota Bay. Learn about project, programs and plans for a healthy Bay. Live online interviews and audience Q&As with people working to protect and restore Sarasota Bay, its watershed and the communities that rely on a healthy Bay.  To watch the interviews, go to SBEP's Facebook page or YouTube channel on the day and time of the interview that you want to watch. Then sit back, relax, and enjoy! (We'll respond to questions live on air, so bring your thinking caps, too.) 

Watch Deep Dives Live on Facebook.



[Re-Openings]  L. Boutique & L.Spa (Medical and Retail) Opens Today

L.Boutique and L.Spa open today with phase one hours of Monday to Saturday from 11am to 4pm. Social distancing measures will be followed, including a six-foot separation when assisting customers and limiting the number of clients in the store. Spa staff will wear masks and gloves and customers are encouraged to wear masks in the boutique. In the spa waiting area, only bottled water will be served and no snacks or magazines. With parking lot waiting, clients can call when they arrive in the parking lot and wait in the car until they receive a text letting them know their therapist is ready for them. To schedule a convenient time to shop one-on-one, just call and request an appointment time at your convenience and they will book a personal shopping appointment before or after their public hours. For customers who would rather avoid any social interaction, Facetime can be used to shop and to conduct skin care consultations. 

For more info.

[Business Assistance]  Advertising Expert Linda Gross Offers Free Assistance to Struggling Businesses

With so many area businesses experiencing unprecedented uncertainty and being required to operate in a new arena during the COVID-19 pandemic, local marketing expert Linda Gross has decided to offer her assistance in the form of a complimentary one-hour consultation to the first 10 businesses who respond to this announcement. As the owner of Sarasota-based advertising agency Advice Solutions, Linda has many years of experience in marketing and public relations, media planning and buying including strategy, and she understands the economic stress that is rocking local businesses in all departments.

“I’m a small business owner too, so I know what our community and business leaders are going through,” said Linda. “Offering my help seems the least I can do to help others struggling to organize a new or changed ‘game plan.’ Everything may be different right now, but businesses still need to communicate with their customers and promote their brand and strategies must be changed (from websites to campaigns to internal communication). The social environment that fits the now marketplace must be incorporated. Our team can help them with updating the buyer message, evaluate budgets, and together come up with a plan that works for each unique situation.”

Linda has been a leader in the Sarasota advertising industry for over 20 years. Her client roster has included most of the region’s top builders and developers including Taylor Morrison, Neal Communities and Lakewood Ranch Communities. She has also consulted for legal firms, retail shops, restaurants, country clubs, non-profit groups and many more in every category with a local, regional and national agreement. Over the years, Linda has been a supporter of causes to benefit local arts and educational charities personally and through advising clients. She is a past board member of Designing Women Boutique (DWB), serves as a key advisor for DWB and holds memberships positions in many local organizations.

To take advantage of Linda’s offer for a one-hour marketing and business operation consultation at no charge, be among the first 10 businesses to call 941-720-0462 or email linda@advice-inc.com. For more information about Linda and Advice Solutions, visit advice-inc.com. 

For more info on Advice Solutions.

[Re-Openings]  Chasen Galleries Opens Today

Chase Galleries, along with their neighbors, will be opening their small business at limited capacity today. Chasen Galleries has spent considerable time and resources on cleaning and updating its space. They ask visitors to practice social distancing and to wear masks to help each other to begin enjoying Sarasota's rich cultural experiences safely again. They have a considerable amount of works hanging in the gallery by Steve Quartly, Duaiv, Hessam, Karen Weihs, John Schuyler, Joanne Miller Rafferty, Alexys Henry and more. It will open from 10am to 4pm Monday to Saturday and will only allow 25% at one time. If you are interested in a more intimate viewing experience, schedule a private viewing by calling 941-260-5787. 

For more info.

[Program Restarts]  Community Canopy Program Returns

The City’s free tree giveaway program, Community Canopy, returns at midnight, Sunday, May 3 with contactless registration and delivery, allowing residents in the city limits to safely receive a free tree during the coronavirus pandemic while helping to expand the urban canopy and reducing energy bills. In partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation, the City will provide 125 trees to residents at no cost.

Starting at the stroke of midnight yesterday, Sunday, May 3 (transitioning into early Monday morning), City residents can reserve their free trees at www.ArborDay.org/Sarasota. Please note: Access to the website became available at midnight on Sunday, May 3. On the website, residents can use a calculator tool to estimate the annual energy savings from planting a tree in the most strategic location on their property. Participants are expected to care for the tree and plant it in the location specified by the online tool.

Four species of native trees sourced from Florida will be offered: Bald Cypress, Dahoon holly, Little Gem Magnolia and Sweetbay Magnolia. One tree per household can be reserved during the giveaway. Each tree will be delivered to City of Sarasota residents in a one-gallon container.

“Our world has changed in recent months, but one thing that has not changed is that we still need trees to ensure our community is greener and healthier for generations to come,” said Sustainability Manager Stevie Freeman-Montes. “For social distancing, contactless delivery will be used. The sapling will be left at the resident’s home and it will not be necessary to interact with the delivery person.”

Since 2017, a total of 1,004 trees have been planted through the Community Canopy program, boosting the urban canopy, cleaning air and removing pollutants, filtering stormwater and helping with climate mitigation and adaptation efforts.

The program is funded by the City’s tree replacement fund, which collects a portion of tree removal permit dollars to be used for urban canopy protection programs. 

Reserve your free tree online.

[Giving Back]  Manatee County Sheriff's Office K-9 Unit Trains at Goodwill Manasota

While the coronavirus pandemic has resulted in the temporary closure of Goodwill Manasota's stores and offices, its Corporate Campus was instrumental in a recent law enforcement exercise. The facility played host to a group of officers and service dogs from the Manatee County Sheriff's Office K-9 Unit to train the dogs to sniff out “drugs” and “bombs.”

Canines are used in law enforcement for searching wanted or fleeing suspects; apprehending fleeing suspects; crowd control; and public relations demonstrations for local schools and community organizations. The K-9's and their handlers receive intensive training to become certified to perform their assigned duties. Canines are also assigned to narcotics detection. Prior to being put into service, canines used for narcotics detection are trained and certified in locating hidden quantities of marijuana, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine.

For the recent exercise at Goodwill, officers planted the smell of drugs and bombs within the facility, waiting 30 minutes, and then sent the canines in to find the location of each.

"While we may prefer to be able to operate our organization as usual, we were happy to be able to provide a place for the critical training of our dedicated Manatee County Sheriff's Office K-9 Unit," said Goodwill Manasota president & CEO, Bob Rosinsky. "It is our pleasure to offer this vital service to those who serve our community so well." 

More about the Manatee County Sheriff's Office K-8 Unit

[Re-Openings]  Cafe in the Park Scheduled to Re-Open on May 18

Cafe in the Park will be featuring a reduced but delicious specially selected menu which will include their most favoriet sandwiches, salads, snacks and drinks when they re-open on Monday, May 18. They will be following safetly protocols including staff wearing gloves and masks, acrylic shield protective barriers installed at the ordering counter, CDC-recommended sanitizing practices and procedures in place, ample outdoor seating with a minimum of six feet in between tables, limited indoor seating properly placed and with call and order ahead to pick up and take out. They will be not bringing back Friday Night or Sunday Afternoon music days at this time due to social distancing requirements and the expense of restarting the café, but hope to be able to do so as soon as it is possible. 

[Neal Land & Neighborhoods Donates $10,000 to Meals]  Neal Land & Neighborhoods Donates $10,000 to Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee

Neal Land & Neighborhoods, a Manatee and Sarasota-based master-planned community developer, has made a $10,000 donation to Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee to address the increased need for meals amid COVID-19.

“As the need for food in our community continues to climb, we are so grateful for the support of Neal Land & Neighborhoods,” said Amy Towery, Vice President for Development, Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee. “The services we are providing are critical and are meeting the immediate needs of Manatee County residents. These services would not be possible without financial and in-kind support from the community.”

Since the start of the virus outbreak, Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee has seen a 30% increase in meal requests from vulnerable seniors. Throughout the month of March, over 18,900 meals were provided to home-bound residents in Manatee County.

The organization is also providing food to families via its Food4Families program, which has already supplied over 85,000 meals to families. In addition, Meals on Wheels PLUS is providing food to nearly 100 food pantries and partner agencies across the county, which have seen a 20% increase in food being withdrawn.

Neal Land & Neighborhood’s $10,000 donation will benefit the Food4Families program, providing 500 bags of food containing 15,000 meals to residents in need.

The gift helps kick-start donations to the organization via the upcoming Giving Challenge on April 28-29 through the Sarasota Community Foundation. Donations in the amount of $25-$100 are matched by the Patterson Foundation during the Giving Challenge.

“We found it impossible to sit back while members of the community struggle under the burden of COVID-19. We’re happy to be able to offer support for the great work of Meals on Wheels PLUS,” said John Neal, President of Neal Land & Neighborhoods. “The need for nutritious food in our community is unfortunately great during this challenging time.”

To give, food donations can be shipped directly to Meals on Wheels PLUS via Amazon Smile or Quinnd.com. The organization has wish lists of items on both websites. Secure gifts can also be made online at www.mealsonwheelsplus.org/donate. A $20 gift can feed a family of five 30 meals and a $50 donation can feed a senior for an entire week. 

For more info on Neal Land.

[Brain Health Initiative]  Brain Health and COVID-19 Experience Inspiring Us to Ask, Who Can We Be?

Throughout history and this period of COVID-19 experience, people are asking deep and meaning-filled questions about life and living. How do we pause, reflect and make meaning from our individual and collective experience and apply our lessons learned to ways of being? How do we become as wise, compassionate, grateful, strong, happy, and loving as we can be and reach our potential as individuals and as a community and make a difference for the greater good? Recent science is revealing how these ways of being, of living a brain healthy lifestyle, are creating remarkable positive changes in the physiology of our own central nervous system and increasing outcomes in our own brain health and daily performance across the lifespan. 

Click to find out more about the Mindfulness for Preschoolers Summit.

[Resuming Services]  Doctors Hospital Resumes Elective Surgeries

Doctors Hospital of Sarasota will resume all elective procedures today per the announcement of Governor Ron DeSantis last week. This includes all minimally invasive/robotic, orthopedic and spine, gynecological, and cardiovascular procedures. To keep patients and staff safe, new protocols are in place.

Including:


• COVID-19 testing is required for all patients prior to surgery.
• Screening for all patients, visitors, and staff before entering facilities.
• Surgical patients will be in areas where no one has tested positive for COVID-19.
• All of our caregivers and staff are wearing masks throughout our facilities, exceeding CDC guidelines.
• Heightened infection prevention policies, including the removal of high-touch items such as magazines and water fountains have been temporarily suspended
• Patients are asked to continue to follow the current guidance from the CDC regarding social distancing and hand hygiene before their surgery.

“The safety of our community and caregivers is always our first priority. We have beds, PPE (personal protective equipment), staff and safety guidelines in place to resume these procedures. Most elective surgeries are not optional procedures, but rather surgeries that could be temporarily postponed. We are hearing stories of people who are in pain and their conditions may be impacting their quality of life and health,” said Robert Meade, Doctors Hospital of Sarasota, CEO. “We are ready to move forward to provide needed care.” 

[COVID-19 Support]  DutchCrafters and Partner Woodshops Take Action to Support Causes During Pandemic

When DutchCrafters’ Vice President Linse Miller found out the woodshop that builds the Amish Garden Furniture Collection was making personal-use hand-sewn facemasks available for purchase, she saw an opportunity to make a difference. The Amish furniture e-commerce retailer is selling the facemasks and giving the profits to All Faiths Food Bank to provide food to those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. “The masks will help to protect people who are vulnerable to the virus,” said Miller, “and during a time when many people have lost their jobs and are dealing with food insecurity, we can help with donations to All Faiths Food Bank to support their mission.”

In late March as DutchCrafters’ employees were settling into working from home and shifting priorities to get the small Sarasota-based business through this crisis while tracking lockdowns and stay-at-home orders in the states where their company’s woodshops are located, they started hearing similar stories from several of those woodshops. When deciding on a charity to support with the profits from facemask sales, Miller found the choice easy to make. A non-profit incorporated in 1989, All Faiths Food Bank is the only food bank serving Sarasota and DeSoto Counties.

All Faiths’ Communications Manager Elodie McCartney Ward outlined via email how the organization is striving to meet the needs of the community, including:
· Providing pre-boxed and pre-bagged food via drive through mobile distributions.
· Partnering with school districts of the counties they serve to provide food, snacks and equipment.
· Working with other local non-profits to like Boys & Girls Club to provide supplemental food to families.
· Continuing to support their more than 60 partner agencies with pre-boxed and bagged food. 

Click to purchase a 5-page of face masks benefitting All Faiths Food Bank.

SRQ Media Group

SRQ DAILY is produced by SRQ | The Magazine. Note: The views and opinions expressed in the Saturday Perspectives Edition and in the Letters department of SRQ DAILY are those of the author(s) and do not imply endorsement by SRQ Media. Senior Editor Jacob Ogles edits the Saturday Perspective Edition, Letters and Guest Contributor columns.In the CocoTele department, SRQ DAILY is providing excerpts from news releases as a public service. Reference to any specific product or entity does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by SRQ DAILY. The views expressed by individuals are their own and their appearance in this section does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent. For rates on SRQ DAILY banner advertising and sponsored content opportunities, please contact Ashley Ryan Cannon at 941-365-7702 x211 or via email

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