The coronavirus pandemic has ushered in a new normal that humanity hasn’t seen in more than a hundred years! Among the things we’re seeing in the new normal is the way we get our food, particularly with the shelter-in-place orders. Where families can freely get in and out of their homes for grocery runs, the shelter-in-place orders have made it more challenging.
But food being an essential need, we have to find it in old and new places. Here are 10 ways that food can be secured during these unusual times. Many of these ways are already familiar but with a twist while a few are somewhat new.
Go the Traditional Route
Groceries, supermarkets, and restaurants are still open because these are considered as essential services. You can designate a person who will make the food runs for the family on a regular basis, say, once a week. You should list down the items and their quantities so that there’s less chance of forgetting essential items.
The less number of times a food run to the supermarket has to be made, the less risk of exposure to the coronavirus.
Takeout Services Are Still Available
Most of the restaurants that still remain open only offer takeout services; dine-ins aren’t allowed anymore for safety reasons in light of the pandemic. You can line up at the counter – social distancing measures are in place – tell the cashier your order and pay for it, and leave the restaurant with your order. Better yet, you should use the drive-thru since it is more convenient and with less exposure to others.
Ask about Delivery Services
But why go out when you can have canned goods, fresh produce, and other food items delivered to your doorstep? Again, restaurants provide delivery services, either through their own delivery services or in partnership with dedicated delivery services. Cheesecake Factory, for example, delivers food through its partnership with GrubHub.
There are also many online grocery delivery services to choose from. Examples include Amazon Fresh, Instacart, Walmart, Shipt, and Peapod, which deliver a wide range of food items from fresh produce to canned goods. But do your research as certain companies provide better services in specific areas.
If you’re craving some good old McDonald’s, they are offering delivery through Uber Eats and DoorDash. Being known for their wallet-friendly prices, consumers will welcome the idea of having their favorite fast foods delivered directly to their homes.
Amazon Fresh, for example, does a better job of delivering Whole Foods items in the Boston area than Instacart.
Plant Your Own Garden
Now’s the best time to start your own garden! You don’t need plenty of lot area for it, too, since container gardening is just as productive in terms of yield as a traditional garden. You can start with seeds or grow new vegetables from the scraps, as is the case for carrots, beets, and lettuce.
There are dozens of YouTube videos for starting a container garden so there’s no excuse for not doing so.
Exchange Food with Your Neighbors
If you live in a friendly neighborhood, you can start the practice of exchanging food with your neighbors! You can exchange canned goods, fresh produce or cooked meals, too. You may even find new recipes that you can try at home or tips to make full use of food items gathering dust in your pantry.
Go to a Soup Kitchen
While soup kitchens are traditionally seen as a way for homeless people and individuals experiencing financial difficulties, there’s no shame in availing of its food services once in a while. You will get filling meals that will surely tide you over until times are better. And when times are better, you can contribute to the soup kitchen, too.
Get Food from Food Banks
Again, there’s no shame in getting assistance in these difficult times. If it will make your family’s financial situation better considering the economic uncertainty, then go for it!
Order Produce Boxes
In case you’re having trouble with grocery delivery services, you can order fresh produce boxes instead. First, you can check out local food stands that offer pre-packed produce boxes, usually for a flat fee. Second, you can try Misfits and Imperfect Foods that deliver so-called ugly fruits and vegetables, perhaps some canned goods. Don’t worry about the misshapen fruits and vegetables because these are safe to eat and just as good in flavor and nutrients.
Call Specialty Stores
Are you still having trouble finding a grocery delivery service that actually delivers your desired food items? You should call your local grocery stores and specialty stores! But set your expectations as their delivery services may be limited, such as only curbside pickup or within a specific distance.
Subscribe to a Meal Delivery Service
If you have special dietary needs or you’re working from home so cooking your meals all the time isn’t an option, you may want to consider a meal delivery service. You can choose your meals for an entire week, perhaps a snack or two, and then have them delivered on an agreed basis. You can then spend more time in, say, catching up with work, or spending more time with your family.
Food is a basic need and, as such, we will always try to find ways to get it. Your creativity and ingenuity will likely ensure a steady supply of it, quarantine, or not.