Employees of an Aiken grocery store enjoyed a gesture of appreciation Friday for their efforts during the coronavirus pandemic.

And it was tasty.

Several members of the Greater Aiken Chapter of SCORE and others provided the box lunches from Firehouse Subs that were given to Kroger workers.

 

“We felt that these folks are out on the front lines serving us and taking care of the community every single day,” said Chapter Chairman Nicholas “Chip” Retson. “We just wanted to recognize them for the good work that they do and for helping us all stay healthy and safe.”

Joining Retson at Kroger were his SCORE colleagues Helen Naylor, Paul Ebel and John Carman, a former chapter chairman.

“We used our own personal funds for this,” Retson said. “None of it was money that was donated to SCORE.”

Kay General of the General Elliott Inn brought cake and cookies for dessert.

Naylor said Aiken Horse Park Foundation President Jack Wetzel and Patricia Davis also provided financial support.

 

Balloons decorated the employee-only area in Kroger where the box lunches were distributed.

Soft drinks were available, and there also were some gifts – writing implements and personal journals.

“I appreciate them reaching out and recognizing the hard work of my associates,” said Kroger Store Manager Robby Pierson. “They have been trying to keep everybody safe. We’re all constantly washing our hands, and we’ve implemented a face mask rule (for employees).”

Latasha Corley, who works in Kroger’s floral department, also expressed her gratitude.

“I think this is great,” she said. “We put our lives on the line every day to make sure our customers are served. We do everything we can to keep the store running.”

Said Jennifer Brunson, a utility clerk, of the free meal: “This means a lot to us. We’re working really hard to help our customers.”

SCORE offers free business mentoring and education. The organization is a resource partner of the United States Small Business Administration.

For more information about the Greater Aiken chapter, visit greateraiken.score.org.

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