(picture courtesy of the Groveland Police Department)

What is the new normal?  For some, it involves a lack of grocery products, toilet paper or high demand cleaning items, such as hand sanitizers on the shelves in your local stores.  For others, it’s a routine change from an in-person conversation, to phone calls.  The City of Groveland has recognized these changes and has since launched a multi-facet campaign for residents called Operation Reach Out.

Operation Reach Out is a City designed campaign created to support Groveland residents.  It encompasses an array of smaller programs underneath its umbrella, to include initiatives named “Safe Hands”, “Citizen Check-In”, “Let’s Eat” and “Ring and Response”, all of which are geared towards improving the overall welfare of the community, who have felt the effects of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), in some portion of their daily lives.

The Safe Hands initiative consists of free hand sanitizer bottles being distributed to citizens, to assist in meeting the community’s needs for extra sanitary resources.  In preparation for a shortage, the City purchased 540 gallons of hand sanitizer to disseminate throughout the community.  Residents are encouraged to bring their clean and empty hand sanitizer or water bottles, to the Groveland Police Department Trailer, where they will be able to “swap a bottle, for a bottle”, Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM, while supplies last.  All residents are asked to take one bottle per day to allow others a chance to participate.

“This operation is two-fold,” said Groveland Police Chief Shawn Ramsey.  “Residents can bring their pre-cleaned empty bottles of sanitizer to the Police Department and acquire a free new filled one.  The turned in bottles will be re-cleaned by the Department and recirculated for the next batch.  The City of Groveland is the City with Natural Charm,  therefore, it is only the natural thing to do, to take care of each other during such a time as this.  Keeping our hands clean are very fundamental actions that everyone can do, to help minimize the spread of COVID-19.”

Groveland Police Officers will also be visiting the City’s local businesses who are experiencing an outage of the sanitizer product and donating a portion to them.

Citizen Check-in Campaign was created to have City of Groveland employees, call to check-in on residents and provide some friendly conversation.  Residents can expect phone calls Monday through Friday between the hours of 11:00 am – 4:00 pm. Residents may contact the City at 352-557-5331 for any City-related general questions.  In addition, an online feature on the City’s website, allows users to input their local loved one’s information and request a personalized call.

Ring and Response:  Following City Hall’s closure, the City has placed the popular appliance Ring Video Doorbell, at the entrance of City Hall, to assist customers who may stop by with questions.  A live City representative will be able to answer questions from the application, Monday through Friday, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm.

Let’s Eat:  This food geared project is focused on assisting residents with ways to acquire meals more easily during this current COVID-19 emergency.  City officials are in communication with local restaurants, food trucks, and farmers, that are willing to deliver to residents and communities within Groveland.  The list will be available within days and accessible through social media and on the City’s website.

The City of Groveland is committed to its charming community.  Stay connected to the City’s Facebook Page and website at www.Groveland-fl.gov for the latest updates.

For more information on COVID-19 and preventative measures, visit the Centers for Disease Control website https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus.


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