Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Facebook Group Is Fresno Resource for All You Need During COVID-19
gvw_nancy_price
By Nancy Price, Multimedia Journalist
Published 4 years ago on
March 25, 2020

Share

Want to know which Fresno or Clovis stores have toilet paper or Clorox wipes right now, and which restaurants have curbside service? There’s a Facebook group for that.

“There’s just so many people affected by this, being out of work. And so I felt like, there’s gotta be something we can do to help.” — Tammy Suntrapak
Created on March 19 by Tammy Suntrapak and her sister-in-law, Mykel Newton Suntrapak, the Fresno COVID-19 Resource group was originally designed to let local residents share information about where they could find a restaurant open and offering curbside service, or a store with sought-after supplies on its shelves.
Tammy Suntrapak, whose husband Todd is CEO of Valley Children’s Healthcare, learned that one of her closest friends who owns Cuca’s Restaurant in the Tower District was worried about being able to pay her employees or even keep the business open. Unlike some eateries, Cuca’s wasn’t doing much curbside business.
Suntrapak decided to turn to social networking to let people know which places were still open for business, and hopefully enable some of them to stay that way until the threat of COVID-19 coronavirus has eased.
“There’s just so many people affected by this, being out of work,” she said. “And so I felt like, there’s gotta be something we can do to help, there’s got to be some way.”

Membership Growth Is Viral

After Mykel Suntrapak created the Facebook group, the pair proceeded to invite all their local friends, who then invited their friends, and soon word of the resource group was spreading like, well, COVID-19 — but this time, as a force for good.
As of Wednesday morning the group had more than 6,000 members who are sharing things like free online yoga lessons, difficulties in getting unemployment benefits applications started, and even how to find free movies through your Fresno County Public Library membership (Kanopy).
It’s not the only new arrival on the social networking scene, which is exploding with options as people cope with the abnormal that is the New Normal.

At a time where we need community more than ever, but we’re not able to get that in the physical sense, I think that social media provides us the opportunity to get that in the virtual sense.” — Fresno State professor Betsy Hays
Other recent COVID-19-related groups on Facebook include Fresno/Clovis Takeout 411-Small Business, Fresno Coronavirus Community Support, and Families surviving Coronavirus together!

Social Networking Links Community

The rapid expansion of Facebook groups prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic doesn’t surprise Betsy Hays, chairwoman of Fresno State’s Department of Media, Communications, and Journalism.
“At a time where we need community more than ever, but we’re not able to get that in the physical sense, I think that social media provides us the opportunity to get that in the virtual sense,” she said.
Hays said she believes Facebook groups will continue to grow and could be the future of Facebook, because they are easy to create and target their audiences.
“You’re able to find like-minded and like-interested individuals, regardless of where they live … the exact best use of social is really being amplified in these groups,” she said.
Groups like Fresno COVID-19 Resource are attracting attention and rapidly growing in membership because community members are looking for help to meet similar needs, and that help is coming from other community members, Hays said.

Community Conversation Expands

Not only has the group’s membership skyrocketed, so have the types of topics posted.
Restaurants are posting that they’re open for curbside customers, and in some cases, they’re offering up “pantry boxes” with chicken, eggs, and other basic cooking foodstuffs — and the much sought-after toilet paper.
Auto repair shops are offering to come to people’s homes to pick up a vehicle needing repair and then bring it back.
Other members have used the page to share up-to-date information about the inventory of stores they’ve just visited, and whether that inventory included TP, hand sanitizer, distilled water, or Clorox wipes — the Big Four.
Suntrapak has noticed that supplies in stores appear to be returning to normal, based on posts to the Facebook page. Likewise, delivery services are not as backlogged as they were a few days to a week ago, she said.
“I was noticing for at least a week that Instacart had no available deliveries for my area,” said Suntrapak, who is staying close to her northwest Fresno home because she has an immune-compromised system. “Finally, I was able to get a date.”

Up-to-date Reports

And the posts also include real-time reports on what members have seen at stores.
One member posted Tuesday morning that at the Costco store on Abby Street in north Fresno, “100s of seniors lined up. On top of each other.” That was just before 8 a.m. when the store was opening to seniors only, something that Costco is doing on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.
Meanwhile, a Winco employee posted that her store has added blue tape on the floor near the checkout stands to mark out the six feet recommend for social distancing.
After one woman posted a request for help in buying groceries because she has immunological health issues and needs to remain isolated at home, a vast number of people stepped up, some offering to take her shopping list to the store and others pointing her to resources she could use for grocery deliveries.
“I thought that was amazing,” Tammy Suntrapak said.

Other Social Networks in Play

In addition to Facebook groups, the Next Door social networking app is a way for larger neighborhoods to communicate and stay in touch.
On Sonja Dosti’s block in northwest Fresno, an email chain shares daily updates. Dosti, the spokeswoman for Central Unified School District, also shares information through her church’s social network.
Her big seek? Rubbing alcohol. She had called a Rite-Aid store, learned when the next shipment was due, and got to the store at what she thought was an early-enough hour — just in time to buy the last bottle.

DON'T MISS

The Pickle Flavor Frenzy and Its Rise in Food Trends

DON'T MISS

Kate Hudson Had a Lifetime to Make a Record. The Result is ‘Glorious,’ Out in May

DON'T MISS

Long-Lost First Model of USS Enterprise from ‘Star Trek’ Boldly Goes Home

DON'T MISS

California Leaders Take Sides in Monumental Supreme Court Case on Homelessness

DON'T MISS

Man Sets Himself on Fire Outside Trump Hush Money Trial Court

DON'T MISS

McDonald’s Ice Cream Machines Are So Unreliable They’re a Meme. They Might Also Be a Climate Solution.

DON'T MISS

Real Estate Experts Talk Fresno’s Economic Future. Are Tough Times Ahead?

DON'T MISS

Unlocking the Secrets to Fresno State’s Superb Baseball Season

DON'T MISS

‘This Is How to Improve Reading Proficiency. We Just Have Execute It’: FUSD Board President

DON'T MISS

Does Dyer Support (or Endorse) Bredefeld for Supervisor?

UP NEXT

Long-Lost First Model of USS Enterprise from ‘Star Trek’ Boldly Goes Home

UP NEXT

Rare House Vote Sees Ukraine, Israel Aid Advance as Democrats Join Republicans

UP NEXT

Full Jury and 6 Alternates Seated in Trump’s Hush Money Trial

UP NEXT

How 4/20 Grew From Humble Roots to Marijuana’s High Holiday

UP NEXT

Barbara Corcoran: 1% Interest Rate Drop Will Send Housing Prices ‘Through the Roof’

UP NEXT

Big Names in Rap, Christian Music, and Comedy Headline Must-See Weekend Entertainment

UP NEXT

Juror Dismissed From Trump Hush Money Trial. Prosecutors Seek to Hold Former President in Contempt

UP NEXT

Biden Backs House’s Aid Package for Ukraine, Israel While Speaker Johnson Battles to Retain Position

UP NEXT

Myanmar’s Ousted Leader Suu Kyi Moved From Prison to House Arrest Due to Heat, Military Says

UP NEXT

NPR Editor Suspended Over Claims of Network’s ‘Progressive Worldview’

Nancy Price,
Multimedia Journalist
Nancy Price is a multimedia journalist for GV Wire. A longtime reporter and editor who has worked for newspapers in California, Florida, Alaska, Illinois and Kansas, Nancy joined GV Wire in July 2019. She previously worked as an assistant metro editor for 13 years at The Fresno Bee. Nancy earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. Her hobbies include singing with the Fresno Master Chorale and volunteering with Fresno Filmworks. You can reach Nancy at 559-492-4087 or Send an Email

California Leaders Take Sides in Monumental Supreme Court Case on Homelessness

2 hours ago

Man Sets Himself on Fire Outside Trump Hush Money Trial Court

14 hours ago

McDonald’s Ice Cream Machines Are So Unreliable They’re a Meme. They Might Also Be a Climate Solution.

14 hours ago

Real Estate Experts Talk Fresno’s Economic Future. Are Tough Times Ahead?

15 hours ago

Unlocking the Secrets to Fresno State’s Superb Baseball Season

16 hours ago

‘This Is How to Improve Reading Proficiency. We Just Have Execute It’: FUSD Board President

16 hours ago

Does Dyer Support (or Endorse) Bredefeld for Supervisor?

17 hours ago

Get a 3D First Look at Merced’s High-Speed Rail Station Design

18 hours ago

California Court to Decide on Transgender Ballot Measure Wording

18 hours ago

Rare House Vote Sees Ukraine, Israel Aid Advance as Democrats Join Republicans

19 hours ago

The Pickle Flavor Frenzy and Its Rise in Food Trends

You might have noticed that the tangy taste of pickles has taken over more than just the condiment aisle. From pickle-flavored popcorn to pi...

1 hour ago

1 hour ago

The Pickle Flavor Frenzy and Its Rise in Food Trends

1 hour ago

Kate Hudson Had a Lifetime to Make a Record. The Result is ‘Glorious,’ Out in May

2 hours ago

Long-Lost First Model of USS Enterprise from ‘Star Trek’ Boldly Goes Home

2 hours ago

California Leaders Take Sides in Monumental Supreme Court Case on Homelessness

14 hours ago

Man Sets Himself on Fire Outside Trump Hush Money Trial Court

14 hours ago

McDonald’s Ice Cream Machines Are So Unreliable They’re a Meme. They Might Also Be a Climate Solution.

15 hours ago

Real Estate Experts Talk Fresno’s Economic Future. Are Tough Times Ahead?

16 hours ago

Unlocking the Secrets to Fresno State’s Superb Baseball Season

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend