Photo courtesy Jonterius Lewis
One of the many people who have been putting overtime into their “essential businesses” since the COVID-19 crisis began, Jonterius Lewis helps ensure people get the supplies they need through his position as a supervisor and cashier with Shoppers Value in Clinton.
Born and raised in Clinton, Lewis graduated from Clinton High School in 2018 and has been working at the grocery store for the last two years, climbing to his current supervisor position. Since the pandemic made its way to Mississippi, the 20-year-old has been clocking 45 to 50 hours per week.
A typical workday for Lewis begins with counting the money in the register and then checking to see if there are any information flyers that need to be put up for shoppers. As supervisor, he helps if someone has a problem or if a coworker makes an error while attending the register. He also assists customers on the phone who call to ask about supply availability.
“I have people calling me asking, ‘Do you have this? Put this up for me. I’m on my way if you have it.’ If that happens, I make sure that we have (the items) and go get them,” he says. “I make sure everyone gets the same amount (of items) so that no one feels left out or upset.”
In normal times, Lewis sings in two choirs at his church, Fearns Chapel Freewill Baptist Church in Flora. He listens to hip-hop and gospel music and is a fan of artists like Shirley Caesar and Michael Jackson. The oldest of nine children, Lewis also enjoys spending time with his siblings.
With his church, Lewis has engaged in community work projects, such as giving away free lunches and washing cars. The church held its most recent lunch giveaway in February.
“I like giving back and making sure people get what they need. I just love giving back,” he says.
His passion for community service has molded Lewis’ ambitions. In the future, he says he would like to one day open up a community center for children and teenagers.
“One of my goals is to have a building for young people to come and have fun, play games, have people help them with work and to have a place they can come and just be themselves and be free,” he says.
Shoppers Value (822 E. Northside Drive) is open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and stays open until 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.