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John-Crawford Counts and Chandler Goodman, college seniors and lifelong neighbors, are among the many who are stepping up to help the most vulnerable during this coronavirus pandemic. In their case, they decided to give back to their Oklahoma City community by creating Pop Up Pantry, a place where customers can order essential food and pantry items and then pick them up in a contact-free, drive-thru area.
“There's a bunch of people out there struggling with everything going on, and it's just one of those things where you cannot always tell who’s actually struggling or having a tough time,” Counts told Fox News. “We had so many people come by who might be healthy, but behind the scenes, had a lot of sick family members, so going to a store would be dangerous.”
The co-founders – Counts a marketing major at Delta State University and Goodman a finance major at Oklahoma State University – harnessed what they knew to make Pop Up Pantry a reality.
They were home from their respective colleges due to the coronavirus pandemic when they came up with the idea. Counts explained that his father works at a local Sysco food distribution center, which gave him insight into the food industry. Goodman works full time as a manager for Alta Mere, a window tinting and paint protection store in Oklahoma City.
“John-Crawford approached me and explained that we can use his knowledge of the food industry and my location at Alta Mere and knowledge of small business and kind of take this pop-up idea and run with it,” said Goodman. “And so here we are!”
The young men told Fox News that at first they didn’t realize just how important the service they were providing actually was, especially for the people with preexisting conditions.
“We had one lady come through here and she literally wrote down her order on a piece of paper and put it up on her window to show us,” explained Goodman. “And we were able to bag all of her goods and load them up without having any contact whatsoever. It was just awesome that we were able to do that and keep her safe as well.”
Goodman and Counts explained that while they wish their senior year of college did not end during a pandemic, they are grateful for the experience and the opportunity to give back to the community where they grew up.
“A lady came in crying one day because she could finally get latex gloves and told us how blessed she felt that she could get goods from us,” recalled Counts. “It's just been a very moving and a great experience for us.”
For more on John-Crawford Counts and Chandler Goodman’s efforts with their Pop Up Pantry, watch the interview above.
Emily DeCiccio is a reporter and video producer for Fox News Digital Originals. Tweet her @EmilyDeCiccio.