Free medicine will be offered at Gastonia event this Friday



a man standing next to a car: Pastor Claude Williams, president of United in Action of Stanley Churches, directs people where to go during the Mobile Free Pharmacy Event held Saturday, Sept. 5, 2020, at the First United Methodist Church on Hickory Grove Road in Stanley. [Mike Hensdill/The Gaston Gazette]


© Provided by The Gaston Gazette
Pastor Claude Williams, president of United in Action of Stanley Churches, directs people where to go during the Mobile Free Pharmacy Event held Saturday, Sept. 5, 2020, at the First United Methodist Church on Hickory Grove Road in Stanley. [Mike Hensdill/The Gaston Gazette]

Local residents will be able to get free cough and cold medicine, vitamins, allergy medication, first aid supplies and other items at a Mobile Free Pharmacy event set for this Friday in Gastonia.



Brenda Houston sorts through over-the-counter medicine orders for pickup during the Mobile Free Pharmacy Event held Saturday, Sept. 5, 2020, at the First United Methodist Church on Hickory Grove Road in Stanley. [Mike Hensdill/The Gaston Gazette]


© Provided by The Gaston Gazette
Brenda Houston sorts through over-the-counter medicine orders for pickup during the Mobile Free Pharmacy Event held Saturday, Sept. 5, 2020, at the First United Methodist Church on Hickory Grove Road in Stanley. [Mike Hensdill/The Gaston Gazette]

NC Med Assist is partnering with Atrium Health to host the free pharmacy event and provide residents in need with free over-the-counter medication.

The event will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church at 190 E. Franklin Blvd. in Gastonia.

Participants must be at least 18 years old to receive medicine. Everyone will receive up to eight over-the-counter medicine items free of charge. No identification is required.

Unlike previous Mobile Free Pharmacy events, this one will be held as a drive-thru service only. Participants are encouraged to preorder their over-the-counter medicine online.

In order to comply with local recommended guidelines, all participants will remain in their vehicles while volunteers retrieve their medicine. Additional options are available for those individuals unable to preregister online, so that everyone who needs medicine will be able to receive it.

“Due to the pandemic, we had to create a new and innovative way to continue serving the community,” said Sheila Kidwell, director of foundations and communication for NC MedAssist. “Rather than having one large event with people standing in line and sitting next to each other, we have implemented a drive-thru system to minimize contact.”



a person wearing a costume: Hundreds of bags were filled with over-the-counter medicine orders for pickup during the Mobile Free Pharmacy Event held Saturday, Sept. 5, 2020, at the First United Methodist Church on Hickory Grove Road in Stanley. [Mike Hensdill/The Gaston Gazette]


© Provided by The Gaston Gazette
Hundreds of bags were filled with over-the-counter medicine orders for pickup during the Mobile Free Pharmacy Event held Saturday, Sept. 5, 2020, at the First United Methodist Church on Hickory Grove Road in Stanley. [Mike Hensdill/The Gaston Gazette]

The organization held a similar event in Stanley earlier this month and there was a long line of cars with hundreds of people participating.

Kidwell said her organization will be bringing close to $100,000 worth of OTC medicine to the event to be distributed to area residents.

“We understand there is a pressing need, especially with the cold and flu season right around the corner,” Kidwell said. “Our goal in this partnership is to improve the health of the community, one individual or family at a time.”

NC MedAssist is a statewide non-profit pharmacy founded in 1997. The organization provides free prescription medication to all low-income, uninsured North Carolinians who qualify for their Free Pharmacy Program.

NC MedAssist offers three programs that address the needs of children and adults: the Free Pharmacy Program (for prescription medication), the Mobile Free Pharmacy Program (for over-the-counter medicine), and the Transitional Jobs Program (for individuals with barriers to employment).

Last year, NC MedAssist distributed $74.4 million worth of prescription and over-the-counter medicine to residents across the state.

You can reach Michael Banks at 704-869-1842, email [email protected] and follow on Twitter @MichaelBanksNC.

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