Keep the army marching: Perth catering businesses Feed the Frontline
Mar 22, 2020
In this challenging time, one Perth small business is putting its income aside to support frontline healthcare staff who are time-poor, in high demand and exhausted.
A Moveable Feast Catering owners Zac and Ellie Wilkinson joined the Feed the Frontline movement and are offering healthcare staff nutritious meals delivered to their work, so they can avoid the added stress of getting to the shops only to be faced with bare shelves.
The Wilkinsons' approach is one close to their hearts, as the small business owners are now bearing the brunt of cancelled bookings and having to support their employees, while Ellie is a frontline nurse at the Royal Perth Hospital’s COVID Clinic.
Mr Wilkinson said despite having the “worst and most challenging day” in business on Tuesday when all his pre-booked orders cancelled, he and his wife were determined to make a difference.
“We need to look after the people around us, that’s where I get emotional because that’s what my wife chooses to do,” he said.
“We might be putting our business in harm's way but that’s tiny compared to what’s going to happen to some people, if anybody can do anything to save one death then that’s worth millions of dollars.”
The father-of-two said his entire team was on hiatus because he now has no work for them, but hoped this new initiative would help them continue to support their own families.
“It’s easy to think about yourself and be selfish and what we can do to keep our business afloat, this isn’t about that,” he said.
“There’s no way with the pricing that I’ve done that it’s going to be paying our business bills in the long term. This is about giving back. We’re keeping the army marching on their stomach.”
Through Feed the Frontline, the general public are able to donate meals via A Moveable Feast's website to healthcare professionals at Royal Perth Hospital and St John of God in Midland, or staff can order themselves.
Mr Wilkinson said all meals were pre-prepared in sterile packaging and could be ready in minutes by heating them up in hot water.
“I know my wife, after a 14-hour shift, the last thing she wants to do is cook, she’s exhausted,” he said.
“When you put your hand up for a double shift you only get a 20-minute break or something, and sometimes you can’t get off site or you don’t want to be exposed to more people, so what we’re doing is giving people healthy meals that can be prepared quickly and stored in a small space.”
Mr Wilkinson said he was so determined to support frontline workers, he was preparing for the possibility he’d have to self-isolate in his commercial kitchen.
“We can get deliveries without human contact when we’re not on site or they can be popped straight into fridges or delivered to a shared corridor space,” he said.
“We can keep working when things get a little bit more tense, we're prepared for that.”
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