The initial supermarket panics and the extinction of the toilet roll may feel like a distant memory to some of us now, but when the pandemic first began, panic buying and food shortages affected some members of the community significantly. For health care workers who were working around the clock to keep their country safe, this often meant going without food: when they finally made it to a supermarket after a long shift, they often found the shelves barren. The FrontLine Meals initiative found a clever solution to keep health workers fed, whilst also supporting the economy.
Image Source: MFWF
This is Melbourne’s story of gratitude for FrontLine Meals for helping to feed our health care workers whilst also supporting the hospitality industry throughout the COVID19 pandemic.
Founder of FrontLine Meals, Natasha Oommen became aware of this dilemma early on during the pandemic, and also noticed that on the other side of the coin, the hospitality industry was struggling due to the impacts of life in lockdown. In an interview with Melbourne Food & Wine Festival, Natasha said that ‘It seemed like a simple solution to care for our front-line workers by ensuring that they were nourished after a long day. Every day, they selflessly put themselves at risk to support our community. It felt like the very least we could do.’
So, how does FrontLine Meals work? At the initiatives heart is fundraising, which relies on the kindness of the general public to essentially donate meals to the front line. Then, using those funds, the team go about having fresh meals prepared by local restaurants and cafes delivered to hospitals and frontline staff. The funds raised helps beautiful meals reach the workers who need them, but also helps the local hospitality industry to keep their businesses operating and busy.
Natasha and the team have big plans for FrontLine Meals, hoping to deliver 24,000 meals over the next month. But it doesn’t stop there, Natasha told us that ‘our vision is to grow and replicate this model in other crisis situations (such as bushfire relief) or for different target groups (including the elderly and the homeless).’
Imagine if we all used our time and resources to take part in local initiatives that give back to the healthcare workers who have been working around the clock to keep our community safe. If you’d like to read more about the work Frontline Meals are doing, visit their facebook page for more information.
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