Sherrill company produces flatware to help Navy hospital ships care for coronavirus victims

*Originally posted on April 14, 2020 by Rome Sentinel.com

BOUND FOR THE TABLE — A Sherrill Manufacturing worker loads spoons into a machine for processing that will include washing the flatware prior to stamping it, as part of the manufacturing operations at the Sherrill Manufacturing company, in this file photo. The company is providing flatware to help Navy hospital ships currently caring for coronavirus victims. (SENTINEL FILE PHOTO BY JOHN CLIFFORD)

By: Charles Pritchard, Staff Writer

SHERRILL — Not only are they still in business, Sherrill Manufacturing is producing flatware for Navy ships working to help people during the coronavirus pandemic.

The executive order closing non-essential businesses has had a big effect on Sherrill Manufacturing, co-founder and president Matthew Roberts said, but parts of the manufacturing floor are still up and running due to a contract with the United States government.

As part of that, Sherrill Manufacturing has produced and shipped out flatware destined for the USNS Comfort — a Mercy-class hospital ship of the United States Navy currently stationed near New York City.

“When these floating cities come into shore, they have to restock,” Roberts said. “And the Mercy is a hospital ship, it has to be able to operate on its own. They have galleys that need food and tableware so they can feed their patients.”

Sherrill Manufacturing received the order through its normal channels and thousands of dollars worth of flatware were shipped out. And just recently, Roberts added, a large order of flatware has been put in for the USS Nimitz.

“I believe the Nimitz has around 6,000 people and around eight galleys,” he said. “They’ve got to feed everyone.”

Roberts said Sherrill Manufacturing is grateful to help in any way they can.

And Sherrill Manufacturing is doing everything it can to make sure its employees are healthy and safe while they work during the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re requiring masks, we take everyone’s temperature, and everyone comes in and out one door,” Roberts said. “We have a large facility at half staff, with many of our office personnel working from home.”

Roberts said the most important thing is the employees’ health and that protocols are in place to ensure everyone stays healthy.

People are still able to order from the warehouse directly from the Sherrill Manufacturing website, Roberts said, and quite a few people have already.

“We are running out of inventory but to our customers, we will ship as soon as we can,” he continued. “People are trying to support their local American businesses.”

And Sherrill Manufacturing is doing what it can to support its employees. Staff are getting hazard pay, Roberts said.

“They’re risking something to come into work when they could be home,” Roberts said. “We have such a great group of people working here and I know a lot of small businesses are the same. They want their employees to be safe and they want them to be able to pay their bills.”

Sherrill Manufacturing has recently received approval for one of the CARES loan to help with payroll over the next couple of months. But despite everything, Roberts hopes to see everyone come out of the pandemic stronger and closer than ever.

“I think in times like these, you recognize and see the character of the American people,” Roberts said. “Something tragic has happened and rather than fight, people are working together. Even our politicians are getting along. It’s a testament of the American spirit and I’m seeing more good come out of people than bad. That warms my heart.”

To learn more about Sherrill Manufacturing and what it produces, visit their website at https://www.sherrillmfg.com/.

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