For decades, local nonprofit groups have depended on Ferguson & Hassler Supermarket for supplies.
They've also come to rely on the locally-owned store for financial support.
The Quarryville Fire Company has been one of the benefactors, raising funds through events sponsored by the store and relying on the company for emergency supplies.
Solanco Neighborhood Ministries depends on the monthly food drives the store hosts.
The Solanco Fair has relied on Ferguson & Hassler to arrange for refrigerated trailers for the three-day event, house items in the store's freezers, and make sure there's enough food for thousands of spectators and participants.
And most of the programs were thought up by members of the Hassler family.
That's been true of the monthly drives to stock the food bank.
The store had hosted the drives several times a year. In 2010, Jim Hassler offered to host the drives monthly so the food bank would not have seasonal shortages.
The drives are now held on the first Saturday of every month and bring in between 1,400 and 2,000 pounds of food.
"Those drives provide over $30,000 worth of food a year," said Neighborhood Ministries director Teresa Dolan.
Every month, Fergie's and food bank coordinator Jean Hopkins discuss what items are most needed. They then develop a list and Fergie's stacks many of those items near the store entrance.
They also coordinate the store's sale items with the list.
"They try to make it as cheap as possible for people to give," Hopkins said.
The store isn't the only one to help the ministry, Dolan said. Musser's Market donates bread and baked goods and BB's does quarterly gift certificates.
"But we have depended on Fergie's for milk vouchers because it's closest," Dolan said.
Some of the company's support has been less obvious.
"They save the [heavy duty] water boxes for us so we can pack the holiday meals," Dolan said.
Over the years, the relationships became personal, Hopkins said.
"We developed friendships that I hope will last for a lifetime. I can only say thank you to F&H for caring for the neighborhood and all of its people. We will always be grateful," Hopkins said.
The same can be said of the help the store has given to the local volunteer fire company.
The idea for the Quarryville Fire Company's annual two-day barbecue came from the Hasslers about 20 years ago, former fire company board member Bill Mankin II said.
"It was Fergie's idea, not the fire company's," he said.
The barbecue has been a success since it began.
"When we started, we sold about 1,200 halves," said board member Carl Cross. "We do 2,500 now and we sell out. And we also do 1,500 ribs."
The store's owners provided a location for the barbecue, advertised the event, and paid employees to staff the drive-through line.
Chip Hassler suggested the barbecue as a fundraiser and it has become one of firefighters' top income events.
"We've made well over $100,000 in the years we've had it," said company president and former fire chief Jim Herr. "We probably made $150,000 over the years."
The store's contribution to the fire company doesn't start or end with the barbecue.
"If we have a big fire and we need food and water for the firefighters, we call them and they fill coolers for us and they often donate the stuff," Cross said.
And when the store charged for items, "It was at a discount or at cost," Fire Chief Joel Neff said.
The store's owners also made sure the fires were being fought. "When we had a call, the members who worked there could leave for the call," Cross said.
The store has also been a staunch supporter of the annual Solanco Fair.
"They catered to us," fair general manager Scott Peiffer said. "If we needed refrigerated trailers, they arranged it. If we needed coolers, they brought them over from the store. When we picked the sweet corn, they let us use their freezers to flash freeze it."
The Hasslers were also regular and enthusiastic bidders for animals auctioned at the fair's annual sale.
"They did more for the fair than anyone will ever know," Peiffer said. "We're going to find out, as we go along, just how much they have done. Then we are going to realize what we have lost."
That loss is emotional as well as practical.
"I feel like my best friend died," said Hopkins.
'It's the only grocery store I've ever shopped in and I'll be 82 in December.'
For longtime customers of Ferguson & Hassler Supermarket, it's like losing a family member.
The venerable Quarryville store is closing its doors Wednesday, June 19, after serving the Southern End and surrounding area for 103 years.
Last Thursday, Fergie's began a 50 percent off sale. Customers came in droves to say goodbye – even if it took over four hours to do so.
Carol Lieber of Quarryville and her mother, Maida Miller, spent four hours and 17 minutes at the store. They waited outside for the 8 a.m. opening, shopped, then spent another two hours in line.
Miller, 95, has been coming to Fergie's since she moved here from Baltimore 38 years ago.
"We'll miss the store," Miller said. "The owners are nice and have done so many favors for people. It's just a special place."
Said Lieber: "It's a neighborhood institution. People here have a great appreciation for everything local, locally-owned and locally-grown. That's what I'll miss the most."
Helen Farmer of Nottingham has shopped at Fergie's for a quarter century.
"It's a family environment," Farmer said. "You walk around and talk to people. My parents are friends with the owners and they used to come every Tuesday."
Fergie's TownsEdge Shopping Village location is being transformed into a Giant store, which is expected to open later this month. "I'll give it a try and see how Giant is," said Farmer.
Patsy Rohrer stood wistfully beside a cart-full of items last Thursday.
"It's the only grocery store I've ever shopped in and I'll be 82 in December," the Quarryville native said.
"My grandparents brought me here. Then I got married and put my two daughters in a shopping cart and came in once a week and did a week's worth of shopping. I'm going to miss it."
"Going to Fergie's is like seeing your family," said Rohrer, who literally does that since her grandson, Shane Geller, worked in Fergie's hot food department. "You know everyone who works in the store. You get friendly and courteous service and see your neighbors."
Bonnie Trout of New Providence worked at Fergie's for 18 years. "It's a nice environment to come in to," Trout said. "There are great people who are always friendly. I miss working here but I got too old."
Augie and Carol Biscardi have shopped at Fergie's since moving from Long Island to New Providence 14 years ago.
"It's the end of an era," Augie exclaimed as he walked from the store to his vehicle. "I'm going to miss the atmosphere and, you can put in parentheses, and the chicken salad."