Red Rooster helps Alex Makes Meals deliver food to healthcare workers

Sarah Stowe

Fast food chicken chain Red Rooster has stepped up and joined forces with volunteer program Alex Makes Meals to help supply frontline medical staff with free meals.

When 20 year old student Alex Dekker created Alex Makes Meals two weeks ago he had no idea how the community would respond to his initiative.

What started as one university student offering to cook for a household of overworked doctors a few times a week, has developed into a growing team working around the clock producing healthy, high-quality food and delivering to those that need it most, those first responders and medical staff on the front line of the Coronavirus pandemic in Victoria.

The partnership with Red Rooster sees the national chicken chain help out with food drops to the various clinics and hospitals.

Clint Ault, Red Rooster CEO, said of the partnership As a brand we instantly loved what Alex was doing and wanted to get on board.  As Australias first and favourite chicken shop, Red Rooster feel that its our obligation to bring comfort and support to those who need it most right now.

Alex is an inspiring example to young Aussies everywhere- and as an employer of a largely young workforce, Red Rooster wanted to show support for the amazing work that he is doing. 

“We thank Alex for allowing us to help him on this special mission to feed Australias frontline. 

Alex Dekker said “For 50 years Red Rooster has been feeding Australians and like us, they want to help out our heroes in healthcare, who are working very long hours and in trying conditions.

“Many don’t have time or support to manage nutrition and diet, so we are thrilled Red Rooster has come on board to help meet the increasing demand we are seeing from hospitals and medical professionals across Victoria,” he said.

Alex Makes Meals is producing more than 1000 meals a day from four kitchens staffed by a team of volunteers, some of whom have lost their jobs  in hospitality as a result of the health crisis.

The program currently operates across Melbourne’s eastern and western suburbs and is rapidly expanding to include the rest of Australia, starting with Sydney and Brisbane.

We are seeing an unprecedented volume of demand and orders on a daily basis, and we are fielding calls from hospitals and volunteers across NSW and Queensland.  We are hoping to scale up into those states as soon as possible, Dekker said. Having the support of Red Rooster is great and wed love similar organisations to come on board, he added. 

GoFundMe campaign aims to raise $100,000 to continue providing the meals, and is already more than half way to its total. 

I have gone from studying global studies and science at Monash to doing this.  With just a few dollars of my own meagre savings, which could have fed 10 people, Im now doing something really important to help people, They say we should all do our bit in times of crisis I guess this is mine.” 

What is Alex Makes Meals?

How did Alex start Alex Makes MealsAlex wanted to make meals for his doctor sister, realising he could help a few more people, he decided to ask for healthcare workers who want a meal. When he got 40 people within the first 48 hours he realised he needed help from others and a bigger operation.

How do they source food supplies?  We get food from donations, either from restaurants/ cafes that have excess food or kind people. We also buy food such as rice or pasta.

Why are they doing this?  Healthcare workers are working long hours, providing an essential service. It isnt fair that they come home too tired to eat nutritious meals. AMM make meals because it is the least we can do. 

Where do they deliver to? We deliver to hospitals.

Who cooks for AMM? They have a volunteer chef and kitchen hands. All our chefs have, at minimum, Certificate III qualification and our kitchen hands have at minimum level II food handlers.

Where are we based?  There are four kitchens based in Moorabbin and the Melbourne CBD.

How do we get meals to healthcare workers? Volunteer drivers deliver between the kitchen and the hospitals.