Some services are having difficulty ordering food and essential items from their usual food supplier. This could be mainly due to widespread public fear of the Coronavirus and the potential periods of isolation and lockdowns.
For early childhood services that are having difficulty purchasing food through their usual food supplier or online, you may have to come up with alternatives options.
These may include:
- Teaming up with services in the area and buying in bulk from wholesale suppliers.
- Purchase from local fruit and vegetable supplier
- Be flexible with the weekly menu, with the foods that you have currently available. For example, if on Wednesday you normally have sandwiches and there is no bread available, change it.
- Ask parents to provide food (for example lunch) for their child, while the centre provides morning and afternoon tea.
- Reach out through social media to food suppliers of restaurants and cafes.
- Reconsider activities e.g. playdough which uses flour and salt which is currently in shortage and make an alternative such as slime.
Wholesale suppliers and local market grocers listed below:
- Bidfood(Australia wide)
- PFD Food Services(Australia wide) fresh seafood and meat together with frozen products, dry goods, paper products and cleaning solutions.
- Market Grocer(Sydney),
- Harris Farm(ACT & Sydney)
- WA Fresh(Perth metro, Wandering, Williams and Boddington)
- Catch of the Day(Bargain shopping)
- Find your local farmers market around Australia
- Amazon Australia, Officeworks and Who Gives a Crap and Pure Planet
Note: If you register your service with a big chain such as Coles with your business name as a childcare centre, you are considered vulnerable, so they will continue to deliver to your service as a priority.
It's important to reach out to people within the community and families and adjust as you go.
ECA Response: COVID - 19, Early Childhood Australia