LA Murph’s feeds Food Lion workers

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 21, 2020

By Carl Blankenship

SALISBURY — Local restaurant LA Murph’s sells a lot of boxed lunches.

And despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the restaurant is getting by OK thanks to its drive-thru, says Owner Steve Murph.

“That’s the only thing that has kept us afloat,” Murph said. “We’ve been noticing that people have been tipping us more than normal, which is great. People are showing a lot of kindness out there.”

And some people are going even further than patronizing a restaurant they like. A customer recently made an anonymous $200 donation to feed as many people as Murph felt could use a good meal amid the COVID-19 pandemic. With that donation, Murph chose to send 22 lunches on Monday to the essential workers at the Mahaley Avenue Food Lion.

“I just couldn’t imagine what they’ve been through,” Laura Murph said.

Laura said the donor asked her to use the money as quickly as possible. The Murphs could not fit the order in last week but wanted to have the meals at the store by 11 a.m. on Monday.

Steve said workers in grocery stores, who are keeping shelves stocked with food and other essentials, are at risk of contracting COVID-19.

“They also have to put up with people being upset because they’re out of certain products like toilet paper,” Steve said.

Laura said they visit the Mahaley Food Lion almost every day to pick up something incidental.

The lunches were a complete meal with utensils. The restaurant sent an assortment of lunches on Monday.

“I wish that we as a business could do it ourselves, fund it ourselves,” Laura said. “Right now, and really at any time for a small business it’s hard to come up with extra money, so at least we can be a go between, and we appreciate people’s generosity.”

Jimmy Wilhelm, assistant manager at the Mahaley Avenue Food Lion, said the store has been getting comments from customers appreciative of what the workers are doing. The store appreciates the lunches, too, Wilhelm said. Food Lion makes a number of donations in Salisbury and Rowan County, where the grocery chain is based.

“That’s what we’re here for, to serve the community and be a pillar,” Wilhelm said. “We depend on the community to keep us going too.”

About Carl Blankenship

Carl Blankenship has covered education for the Post since December 2019. Before coming to Salisbury he was a staff writer for The Avery Journal-Times in Newland and graduated from Appalachian State University in 2017, where he was editor of The Appalachian.

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