MART, TX — As many stores shut their doors, one grocery store in Mart is open for business.
Read's Food Store is doing what they can to keep shelves stocked, and the community has stepped up to help.
The grocery store has been around since 1925, with generations of people relying on the store to provide the essentials.
“I don't want to get in the big mix of all the extra people in Waco. I'd rather just stay here where there are fewer people, and we know everybody and where they've been," said one of the owners, Teri Read, when asked why people shop at Read's.
As COVID -19 cases increase in Central Texas, the demand for groceries has been 5-times the weekly amount. The staff struggled to keep up.
“Read's Food Store is the heartbeat of the town. They employee kids in high school and serve the elderly. I felt in my heart that they had too much stuff coming in and the shelves were bare, and they don't have the resources that a larger city has," said Mart resident Nell Kaufmann.
Kaufmann is one of the many people who has been helping during delivery days to replenish the store's shelves.
"It was just time to help our neighbors. That's what we are in Mart, a family, panthers, our shirts say it, we're here for you," he said.
The Reads are grateful for all the kindness and support shown from the community, and believe the town of Mart will persevere thanks to help from volunteers that they call family.
"The number of customers that have said, "Thank y'all. Thank you for getting what we need." That's been our mission to make sure every kid, every adult, every family is fed," said Teri Read.
Read's store owners say they they’re also working with organizations and churches to help provide meals and deliver them to elderly people in town in need.