Poultry companies, groups team up to get chickens to customers
BRIDGEVILLE, Del. — On Good Friday, April 10, Evans Farms Produce, in partnership with Amick Farms, made thousands of pounds of poultry available to shoppers who have found chicken in short supply at grocery stores.
Katey Evans, co-owner with her husband, Kevin, of the on-farm market on Seashore Highway in Bridgeville, said, “Grocery stores are limiting how much chicken customers can get, so it’s in high demand.”
It was one of several truckload sales organized on Delmarva in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Mountaire Farms had sales in Salisbury, Md., and Ocean View, Del., and donated a truckload of chicken to staff at Nanticoke Hospital in Seaford, Del. Volunteer fire companies in Roxana, Del., Blades, Del., and Cordova, Md., worked with Allen Harim to hold truckload sales.
Amick Farms, based Hurlock, Md., and Batesburg, S.C., had contacted Evans about doing the truckload sale, offering poultry at less than wholesale prices.
Evans called it “awesome” that Amick was able to extend that savings while so many people were out of work because of the coronavirus.
The sale was to start at 10 a.m., but cars started lining up at 7, Evans said, and they began filling orders early. State Police and Delaware Department of Transportation vehicles were on site to ensure order, but when it was evident by 10 a.m. that potential shoppers had grasped the idea they needed to get into the single line that stretched for more than a mile on the west-bound shoulder of the road, and all were proceeding in a safe manner, the police left.
On the farm grounds, cars proceeded single-file until their order was taken by employees wearing facemasks and gloves. Payment was made, and a laminated order form with quantity marked was placed under the windshield wiper. Cars then proceeded to the back of the tractor-trailer where Amick employees hefted boxes and bags into trunks and back seats. Everyone was asked to remain in their vehicle.
When it was evident that they would sell all 32,000 pounds in the first truck, a second truck was dispatched. Most of the second truckload was sold, too, although some chicken remained available the next day.
While Delaware Gov. John Carney has not mandated that farm markets close, the Evanses have remained open to drive-through shoppers only.
Evans said the poultry sale might be repeated at a later date.
A family member said after the sale, “We were all exhausted, but oh so thankful that we have been allowed to remain open so far, and happy to be able to distribute groceries in a safe environment.”
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