STARLIGHT, Ind. (WDRB) — As hand sanitizer continues to be in high demand during the novel coronavirus outbreak, local businesses with the resources to help are doing so free to the public.

A churning vat of pure alcohol that is usually part the bourbon distilling process at Huber's Orchard and Winery is now being used to keep people safe from COVID-19. 

"Maybe a week ago, I would have said I'd be real surprised I'd be here making hundreds of gallons of sanitizer," said Blake Huber, who is off from college and helping his family at the southern Indiana farm.

Huber's Starlight Distillery has been concocting a mixture of hydrogen peroxide, ethanol, glycerol and water into large bins. The mixture is then distributed into gallon jugs.

The jugs are then given to first responders, hospitals and businesses that can't close during the outbreak.

"Folks that are trying to stay open but make sure their customers or their employees or both are healthy are the ones that are really taking advantage of this, and we really couldn't be more proud," said Wendy Dant Chesser, with One Southern Indiana.

The public is invited to bring a 16-ounce container or spray bottle that will be filled with the sanitizer for free. Larger companies and health organizations can take home a gallon jug or fill up buckets if needed.

The World Health Organization recently lifted restrictions allowing distilleries to create the sanitizer to make up for the nation's shortage. Typically, sanitizer needs to have at least a 60% alcohol base to be effective – Huber's is 76%.

Chesser hopes others step in to do their part while focusing on precautionary measures.

"The way that (Huber's) have taken on this crisis and looked for a way that they can contribute is something I hope is inspiring to many of the other businesses out there," Chesser said.

The Starlight Distillery is located at Huber's Orchard and Winery in Starlight, Indiana, and is open from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays.

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