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Chefs across Melbourne are banding together to feed communities and health workers

Written by
Jess Ho
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A lot of skilled workers, whether it be in administration, creative industries, trade and logistics are out of work. Those who are in essential services like hospitals and education are overloaded. At times like these, it is easy to feel sorry for ourselves.

Some local legends, though, have turned their energies into helping others because that is all they can think about doing right now. Whether it is offering some support to those in overloaded industries by dropping off meals, paying it forward by feeding those out of work, or blasting out information about mass-hirings in jobs that require little training, it is community leaders like this who make weathering these conditions a little easier.

Jason Chan (Hats and Tatts) and Henry Le (Ends and Means) have formed the Covid-19 EAD (Employee Assistance Directive) to feed unemployed hospitality professionals. Between them, they have formed a group of volunteers who purchase, prepare and deliver food and essential items to workers in need. If you are someone in need of assistance, fill out the form here to receive some confidential help. If you would like to offer your services (anything from accounting to delivery), please fill out this form. If your pockets are full and your heart is in the right place, donate here so the team can keep providing this valuable service. 

On the west side, the Plough Hotel is donating a meal to the Footscray and Sunshine Hospitals to feed the tireless healthcare workers for every $30 spent on takeaway. That's right, you don't even have to lift a finger for this initiative, just order your usual meal, pick it up and the Plough Hotel will pay it forward for you. Order here

Jessi Singh of Daughter In Law and Mrs Singh is operating under the approach of having all the time in the world now that his restaurants are closed, and is giving back to the community that afforded him his success. Singh is using his time to cook meals for hundreds of people at a time, "As a chef, making 300 meals at a time doesn't have to be expensive, I just have to be creative." 

Singh tries to offer at least three meal options that can cater to a number of dietary concerns. These meals are being personally funded and dropped off to St Vincent's Hospital, the Royal Melbourne Hospital and backpacker hostels where food services have shut down. Mates of his have chipped in and even businesses with surplus stock have donated to the cause. As there is no end in sight, Singh is encouraging those who need help and those who want to help to email him or send him a message on Instagram

Alex Dekker is also feeding healthcare professionals with Alex Makes Meals. Dekker is a 20-year-old student who happened to bring his sister a tray of lasagne while she was working a 16-hour shift during her hospital placement and realised there are a lot more people who need to be fed. Since then, Dekker has been preparing large volumes of food and dropping it off to hospitals. To contribute and keep track of where your money is going, donate here

If you're a skilled worker who has watched all of Netflix and feel like you have something to offer, get in touch with one of the initiatives above and help out someone else. It might just be the perfect thing to occupy your time with. 

Want to help out more people without breaking isolation? How about buying sandwiches for the homeless? What about international workers? Buy a toastie and a coffee from this cafe, and they'll get all the profits

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