Since Olive’s Country Store and Cafe transformed its 30-seat dining area into a meal-prep station in March, nearly 2,000 meals have been given out to those in need. The meals were given out as part of Project Resilience, an Ulster County initiative that aims to help vulnerable members of its community via a food distribution network. But for owner Alex Stier, that is just a portion of what he and his staff are doing to give back amid the COVID-19 crisis. Recipients of the meals are always thankful. Stier saw people writing on social media that he was a hero. “I’m just one of many that have stepped up,” Stier says of the posts. “And our first responders and our nurses are the heroes.” While there is a high cost to running a small business, Stier says the new normal for himself and his store means being involved in the community as much as they can.

Alex Stier, owner of Olive’s Country Store and Cafe, turned his cafe into a meal-prep area as part of a program to give food to needy residents.