'I just keep going all day long’: Local farmers getting help in coronavirus crisis

LAKE COUNTY, Fla. — It’s estimated there are nearly 50,000 farms across Florida, and they’re getting help in the coronavirus crisis from the essential workers who are working hard to sell fresh produce along roads throughout Central Florida.

Rain or shine, these unsung heroes are working seven days a week.

Along old U.S. 441 in Mount Dora, business is nonstop at Anthony Onessimo’s roadside produce stand.

Read: Is more stimulus money coming? No mortgage payment, $2,000 a month, tax rebate proposed

“I just keep going all day long,” Onessimo said.

A third-generation produce seller, each morning Onessimo posts his fare on Facebook hours after getting up at 2 a.m. to travel among Florida’s many farms filling his truck and trailer.

That also helps farmers move product they would otherwise lose.

“I sell 25 cases of tomatoes a day, so that’s 25 cases he's guaranteed to sell,” Onessimo said.

Read: Find out which 6 new coronavirus symptoms have been added to the CDC list

Onessimo’s constant flow of customers said they come for the quality and to show local support.

“I really am trying to search out all our local vendors, small local restaurants during this time ‘cause I love our local towns,” said Darla Wilson, a customer.

That’s all Onessimo needs to hear.

“I like the way people see the quality of the stuff, and they appreciate it, and they’re happy to see guys like me out here,” Onessimo said.

Katlyn Brieskorn, WFTV.com

Katlyn Brieskorn is a Digital Assignment Editor at WFTV. She joined Channel 9 in July 2019.