Norths Leagues and Services Club may be closed but that doesn’t mean its kitchen is sitting idle – in fact, it’s still producing 1000 meals a week.
That’s because the club’s kitchen crew has teamed up with Meals on Wheels Pine Rivers to prepare meals for the elderly and at-risk who’ve been forced to self-isolate at home.
Norths Leagues and Services Club general manager Troy Young says he wanted to help a charity in the community when the club closed as a result of COVID-19 restrictions, so he contacted Meals on Wheels.
Troy says demand for Meals on Wheels services sky rocketed as restrictions were introduced and older people were told to stay at home.
“It was perfect timing for the club to get on board,” he says.
It also provided a way for his chefs to earn a wage, after they were stood down.
Troy’s team are in the kitchen five days a week, preparing food which is collected by Meals on Wheels volunteers and delivered to clients.
Meals on Wheels Pine Rivers business manager Wendy Smith says soups and desserts are made in the Meals on Wheels kitchen and main meals are made at Norths.
Demand has surged with new clients on the books and more meals needed for existing clients, some increasing deliveries from three to seven days a week.
“It’s put a lot of pressure on us. We just appreciate the support from them,” Wendy says.
The charity is producing about 300 meals a day.
It’s something she says wouldn’t have been possible without Norths’ help, particularly with social distancing measures limiting the number of people allowed to work in their small kitchen.
Norths’ chefs have learned from the experience and they’ll be on hand for as long as they’re needed.
“We’ve given them the recipes. We can’t change them, so they’ve had to learn our style of cooking and they’re doing a great job,” she says.