As older Ballarat residents stay at home and self isolate to eliminate their risks of contracting COVID-19 (coronavirus), a cafe is going out of their way to ensure they can still enjoy a weekend treat.
Start Cafe in Ballarat East has spent the past weekend offering free meals and deliveries for its older customers, helping them stay safe.
Cafe owner Raj Singh told The Courier the business made the decision simply to help in whatever way they could during this difficult period.
"We just decided to start giving them food," he said.
"Whatever they need or wanted from our menu we are giving them for free for the time being. We'll do it until we are forced to close."
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Mr Singh, who has owned and operated the Start Cafe for about two years said he felt a responsibility to help provide for older people in a time where going out to get food and other necessities, like toilet paper, was tough.
"It's very important to look out for the older members of the community... Yesterday we had four people who lived near us say they had no toilet paper so we just gave them some of ours.
"It's not just us being generous, our customers have done their part and donated money so we can continue helping people."
Through his interactions with the community over the weekend, Mr Singh said the recipients of his generosity were very grateful for the assistance.
"They have all been very grateful, both in person and on social media," he said.
"There needs to be more cafes and restaurants doing this because for some of these people life has gotten very difficult. This is a very scary time for some of these people, so whatever help they get they are very grateful."
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With non-essential businesses looking poised to shutdown from Tuesday, Mr Signh, who also owns Nature's Fresh Juice Bar at Delacombe Town Centre, said he hopes landlords will be understanding and patient with small business owners while their doors are closed.
"Our landlord saw what we were doing and has offered to waive our rent payments if we are forced to close for an extended period of time.
"We have seen business continue pretty normally here, but at our juice bar in DTC, things have gone very quiet.
"I think everyone needs to support each other while all of this continues."