With the pandemic leading to much of the state and the country completely shutting down, the community began looking for creative ways to give back.
Residents at Grace Manor at Hunters Creek were surprised with a more than 30-car parade of family members and loved ones who honked, waved signs and decorate their vehicles to show their adoration of the residents. The Elks Club donated $5,000 to the food bank. Members of local churches waved signs outside of the hospital to show their support for healthcare workers. Local restaurants, like Hungry Howie’s on Alexander Street and Wooden Spoon Diner, stepped up to make sure no one in the community went hungry.
The City of Plant City began rolling out its new virtual commission meetings — shortly followed by a virtual stream of practically every public meeting in the city — to keep the ball rolling at home. Even local artists adapted. Periphery Media hosted a social distancing virtual art exhibition where the Best in Show took home the proceeds from the event.
Schools offered grab-and-go food bags so students wouldn’t go hungry. Parents would line up well before the line opened in order to take home the bags of food. Sports were no longer postponed — they were cancelled.
The first conversations regarding a mask mandate began floating through the EPG. A curfew was put in place but was almost immediately revoked.