Finance Consumer From farmers collectives to meal kits: Food delivery during the pandemic

From farmers collectives to meal kits: Food delivery during the pandemic

Woolworths and Coles struggling to meet delivery demand, but there are other options. Photo: Getty
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Earlier this week, Australia’s major supermarkets were forced to freeze online shopping orders due to an unprecedented, coronavirus pandemic-induced, surge in demand.

While both Coles and Woolworths are now accepting online orders, albeit with no promises that all items will be available, it’s worth considering other options for getting fresh fruit and vegetables, ready-made meals, and pantry essentials delivered to your door, from meal-kit services to local farmers collectives.

Grocery delivery services

Around Australia, there are many small businesses providing online shopping and home delivery alternatives to the big supermarkets.

These include collectives of growers such as Kyneton’s Small Farmers United, which home delivers locally grown fruit and vegetables, bread and produce.

There are also a number of boutique grocery delivery services such as Melbourne’s YourGrocer, that allows customers to shop online from businesses in their local area and get same-day delivery.

Most of these businesses are run by local farmers and business owners and service small areas, so it’s best to do a some research online to find out what’s available where you live.

A number of major platforms including eBay, Amazon, and Catch, also have a selection of food and grocery items available for delivery.

Brace yourself for some disappointment though, as with the current levels of demand you may put your order through only to find out later that some items are already sold out.

Support local restaurants and caterers

Restaurant 306Q has begun offering 14-day isolation evening meal kits. Photo: 306Q

All over the country, weddings and functions are being postponed and restaurant bookings cancelled.

Local cafes, restaurant and caterers have taken a huge financial hit due to the coronavirus, and many will struggle to stay afloat over the coming weeks and months.

With that in mind, there are still ways to support these businesses, even while social distancing or self-isolating.

Some local restaurants and caterers have adapted their menus and are offering takeaway, ready-made meals, and home delivery.

Food delivery services as Uber Eats, Deliveroo, and Door Dash also operate in many areas

Meal kits and ready-made meals delivered

Ready-made meals
There is a buffet of ready-made meal delivery businesses to choose from across Australia, including We Feed You, Chefgood, YouFoodz, and Macro.

If you’re planning to trial a new service, it’s worth doing a quick Google search to see if there are discount codes available.

Meal kits

Meal kit services such as Dinnerly, HelloFresh, and Marley Spoon are another alternative for individuals and households in self-isolation or quarantine.

Customers can choose their preferred recipes online, and have all of the ingredients needed delivered to their door, so it’s a good option for those who prefer fresh rather than frozen or refrigerated meals.

For options in your area, read Finder’s comparison of meal and meal-kit services, including a break-down of the areas they service across Australia.

Special arrangements for vulnerable groups

With food and groceries flying off supermarket shelves, and fights breaking out over toilet paper, it’s important that vulnerable groups are looked after.

Both Coles and Woolworths have said that elderly shoppers and people with special needs will be prioritised for online orders.

Both are also offering a dedicated shopping hour from 7am to 8am Monday-Friday for the elderly, people with a disability, and their carers.

To enter, customers must present one of the following government-issued identification cards: pensioner concession card, companion card, commonwealth seniors health card, health care card, seniors card, disability card.

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