Gympie foodies find silver lining in face of COVID-19 crisis
THE list of silver linings visible through the dark clouds of the coronavirus crisis are limited, but Gympie foodies have found a fleeting one through offering takeaway and delivery services as the pandemic continues.
Raffinatis Healthy Meals are among at least 24 outlets across the region to make their menus available for collect or delivery in the midst of sweeping social distancing restrictions in place across the country, with more expected overnight.
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Led by organiser Anna Cahill, Raffinatis has started preparing “about 300” nutritious meals per day – complete with delivery services straight to the front door.
Raffinatis spokeswoman Peta Watson said the delivery service would spread beyond its usual 15km from Gympie radius to account for the crisis.
“We’ve been established for five years and we’re now working with the elderly … as well as the gyms we’re working very heavily with,” Ms Watson said.
“On our website we have about 30 items on our full menu, and we’re pretty well right to still do the menus on there, there may be some variations with vegetables.
“In this time we’re going further with our deliveries, but people will have to ring up for a quote if it’s further than 20 kilometres.
“The numbers have been up and I expect them to be a lot higher again, there’s about 15 people to ring back on my message bank at the moment.
“It’s horrendous isn’t it? Stock has been our biggest problem but we’ve just got onto some farmers to get some fresh produce direct because they can’t get them to the markets now. Hopefully that will sustain us going through.
“We’re very community-based and we’re there for all the locals in this situation. We’re here to help people.”
Raffinatis prices range from $8.99 to $12.99 for meals from their standard menu, $25 to $35 for family meals and $10 to $11 for custom, calorie-controlled options.
Local deliveries start at $5 and payment is available through cash, credit card or EFTPOS.
Café by Farmer and Sun have introduced fresh fruit and veg and meal delivery options for customers after federal government restrictions forced them to close their dining area.
“I’m just trying to keep staff employed, that’s the aim by creating all the meals and then offering the delivery, so we can have our staff driving out and making the deliveries,” Farmer and Sun café manager Sharla Watson said.
“It’s a little bit tough, I did have 24 staff and I’m now down to about five or six, that’s what one day did from Sunday to Monday.
“If we were any other café we would have closed now, but because we’ve got the fruit and veg next door we’re at least able to prepare the meals and deliver them. I’m at least able to create work for my staff.
“Everyone’s going to feel this and I don’t know when it’s going to get any better.”
Farmer and Sun meal boxes are available for pick-up or delivery, with a minimum order of $100 for delivery.
More information is available on the Farmer and Sun Facebook page.