Club combats isolation through community meal deliveries
HUNDREDS of meals have been pouring out of the Charleville RSL kitchen, despite the club being closed because of coronavirus restrictions.
Before it was forced to shut its doors in March, members would fill the bistro for social outings – attending ‘religiously’ according to club president Greg Field – so while they can’t come in, the RSL has found a way to come to them.
Each Wednesday and Sunday for the past month, the team has been delivering the usual dinners to their members’ doorsteps, offering companionship and a meal while they aren’t able to set foot in the club.
“We have a lot of members who are elderly, and are loyal, practically religious members of the club who turn up for us every Friday and Saturday – they have done for many years,” Mr Field said.
“So we thought the least we could do while they are stuck at home is to maintain contact with them, and give them a free meal twice a week.
“One of our cooks, Barbara Hornberg, has been preparing all the meals each Wednesday and Sunday, and a group of us from the committee and sub-branch have been dividing up the town and delivering street by street.
“Altogether we deliver about 140 to 150-odd meals in a week.”
Throughout the past month, the team of staff, along with volunteers from the RSL sub-branch, have sent out in excess of 450 meals to Charleville locals, and the initiative is showing no sign of slowing down.
Mr Field said it is likely they will keep up the deliveries until the club is able to reopen their doors once restrictions ease.
“We will continue doing the deliveries for the foreseeable future – for another three to four weeks at least,” he said.
“There has been some discussion about opening some of the RSL’s facilities as early as next week, but for us to have only 10-20 people allowed inside isn’t viable for reopening the club. so we will continue doing what we are doing and then see how things develop over the next month.”
As of May 15, restaurants in outback Queensland are permitted to reopen dining areas for patrons, but limits of 20 local customers at any one time apply; the limit will be increased to 50 patrons on June 12.
Under the state’s current plan to ease restrictions, bars and gaming cannot reopen until July 10.