Indian River Colony Club in Viera Protects Seniors, Jobs Amid COVID-19 Threat

By  //  April 15, 2020

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community of nearly 800 homes created and then supported two programs that both benefitted the senior residents

Nobody does logistics better than the military. So it shouldn’t be entirely surprising that the Viera 55+ neighborhood of predominantly retired military personnel turned on a dime after Florida Governor Ron Desantis issued a stay-at-home order that also shuttered restaurants across the Sunshine State.

BREVARD COUNTY • VIERA, FLORIDA – Nobody does logistics better than the military.

So it shouldn’t be entirely surprising that the Viera 55+ neighborhood of predominantly retired military personnel turned on a dime after Florida Governor Ron Desantis issued a stay-at-home order that also shuttered restaurants across the Sunshine State.

The community of nearly 800 homes created and then supported two programs that both benefitted the senior residents –and protected staff jobs.

The busy At Ease Club restaurant quickly retooled its processes for takeout only. Using the lunch menu as a foundation and adding an entree “special,” the club now prepares and boxes up between 170 and 200 takeout meals daily.

That number swelled on Easter, when 385 special holiday meals were prepared to order, boxed and bagged and staged for car and golf cart pickup.

A second and particularly innovative program for the golf course community was devised by Club Manager, Thomas Shonkwiler, whose new At Ease Post Exchange (PX) grocery menu allows residents to avoid grocery store shopping and stay sheltered at home.

Neighborhood members simply place their orders for more than 30 popular grocery items that include chicken breasts, steak, luncheon meats, cheese, eggs, soft drinks, snacks and even beer and wine.

Also available is the coveted paper product that has proven scarce during the pandemic, toilet tissue. The orders are filled and bagged by restaurant employees and organized for next day pickup in a car and golf cart line.

Together, the lunch and dinner takeout program and the Post Exchange grocery program have helped minimize exposure to the COVID-19 virus for residents, while safeguarding the jobs of the club staff. Indian River Colony Club has 94 total employees, including 21 kitchen, wait and bar staff.

A disproportionate number of restaurant and hospitality staff workers are among the hundreds of thousands of unemployment claims filed in Florida since the onset of the coronavirus outbreak.

Indian River Colony Club resident, Sally Grissom is grateful for the ways in which the community food service workers are keeping the neighborhood safe.

“The club is offering a pretty extensive list of groceries for residents to purchase so that we can avoid the grocery stores,” said Grissom. “They had over 100 grocery orders in the first two days!

“The club is offering a pretty extensive list of groceries for residents to purchase so that we can avoid the grocery stores,” said Grissom.“They had over 100 grocery orders in the first two days!

Between the At Ease Club Post Exchange grocery orders and all of the daily lunch and dinner takeout meals, we have kept all of our staff on the payroll. They are doing so much to help us and the residents here couldn’t be happier.”

Viera’s very first neighborhood, Indian River Colony Club is known as “The Place Patriots Call Home.” A haven for military retirees, the par-72 private golf course community has a patriotic culture and country club amenities for active adults aged 55 and over.

For more information about Indian River Colony Club, call 321-255-6000, visit their website at IndianRiverColonyClub.com or like their Facebook page.

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