COVID-19 leaves family of 5 with lemonade stand as only source of income

Fla. family sells lemonade to try make ends meet amid coronavirus pandemic

GREENACRES, Fla. (WPBF) - A single mother of four in Florida says her children’s lemonade stand is the family’s only source of income, due to the coronavirus pandemic. Every day, they sell what they can to try to make ends meet.

Erin Bailey and her four children, ages 6 to 10, pack up their cooler every day and head to the curb in front of their Greenacres, Florida, community to do what American children have been doing for generations: set up a lemonade stand.

“We are the best team in the world. That’s for sure,” Bailey said.

For months, the stand, which sells regular and strawberry lemonade as well as Arnold Palmers, was a way for the children to save up money for toys and other things they wanted.

But then, the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

Bailey had been running a lawn care business, and customers stopped calling. She couldn’t find a new job because with schools closed, there was nobody to watch the kids. So, now, the lemonade stand is the family’s only source of income.

“Things just got really difficult,” Bailey said. “We started selling the lemonade basically to make sure we have what we need every day.”

Bailey always tries to keep it upbeat, but the family doesn’t make a lot of money at the stand, despite sometimes working long hours. Their savings have vanished, and Bailey is way behind on her bills and her rent.

“To know that there’s a chance that we won’t have a place for them to call home, it’s terrifying,” she said.

Bailey applied for assistance from the state and the county but hasn’t gotten anywhere. She says she feels like she’s failing as a mother.

“You reach a point where you almost feel like you’ve ran out of options and that you’re letting them down,” she said.

Bailey says she doesn’t want a handout. She just wants a chance, a job, a way to care for the four most important people in her world.

“Right now, we’re just having a rough patch, and we just... we need to patch the patch,” she said.

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