Wednesday, 29 June 2022

    55,000 free meals for medicos

    Australia recorded the first COVID-19 death on March 15. That same day, when 20-year-old university student Alex Dekker was speaking to his sister Pietra, a doctor at the Monash Medical Centre, he realised how difficult a health worker’s job was in the middle of a pandemic outbreak, SBS News.

    “She told me she ate nothing but a muesli bar the whole day, and I thought ‘that can’t be right’. So I offered to cook her a lasagna and I brought it to her place,” Mr Dekker told SBS Italian.

    The conversation with his sister left Mr Dekker thinking about many doctors and nurses who were in the same situation as his sister, and he decided to do something about it.

    He set up a Facebook page offering free meals for health care workers in need. He received five requests for meals in no time.

    The next time he checked the social media page, there were 400 requests – too many to handle by himself.

    Mr Dekker made a few calls, started a GoFund me campaign to fund his initiative and began cooking meals in his kitchen. He cooked 400 meals that week. And that’s how he started ‘Alex Makes Meals’, which is now a registered charity.

    He spent his 20th birthday on March 31 driving around Melbourne, delivering free food with the help of a few friends.

    He crossed the path of an Italian chef, Nicola Dusi, whose food business was hit hard by the pandemic.

    The Italian chef and his business partner Andrea got in touch with Mr Dekker and gave him not just the restaurant kitchen to cook meals, but they also worked as volunteers cooking restaurant-quality Italian meals for the needy.


    How a 20-year-old quit uni to make 55,000 free meals for medicos in Melbourne’s lockdown (SBS News)


    Alex Dekker (left) started Alex Makes Meals to help frontline hospital staff during COVID-19. Source: Alex Makes Meals