Dishing up cheer

LtoR- Amy and Vickie of the Hoppers Club. (Joe Mastroianni). 244828_01

By Alesha Capone

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July 28

The Hoppers Club is bringing a smile to the faces of many doing it tough during lockdown, providing free meals to people in need.

The not-for-profit club in Hoppers Crossing has been encouraging residents who have had shifts cut, or who are short on cash, to attend the venue’s reception and order a family meal.

Hoppers Club chief executive Mike Lewis said Facebook posts about the initiative have reached more than 20,000 people.

Mr Lewis said that club staff prepared up to 20 meals each night, along with the meals they provide to agencies such as Feeding Families for distribution among vulnerable locals.

Hoppers Club employees have also been delivering meals free-of-charge to homes, sometimes dressed in costumes – such as a banana and ship’s captain – to spread cheer.

Mr Lewis said COVID “has had a huge impact on the club’s bottom line” causing it to lose “many hundreds of thousands of dollars”.

“Because we have lost significant revenue we have had to put other community projects on hold and have restructured the club to ensure our long-term success,” he said.

Mr Lewis said he was proud of the Hoppers Club staff for their efforts in the pandemic, particularly executive chef Sid Haldikar and operations manager Amy Crawshaw.

“It is heartbreaking to see and listen to the many people in our community who are suffering because of COVID,” Mr Haldikar said.

Alesha Capone