South Melbourne’s sunny farm-to-table eatery Half Acre can’t welcome customers behind its brick facade right now, but it’s keeping them well-fed via a new online marketplace.

“Half Acre is all about sharing food, a table with 10 to 15 friends and family, and obviously you can’t do that right now,” says co-owner Adam Wright-Smith.

Together with catering company Food & Desire, Wright-Smith has launched Food4Good, which sells pantry staples, dairy, ready-made meals, booze, desserts and more.

“It’s a mix of comfort and healthy foods. Some of it’s pre-packed, some of it’s frozen, some of it’s fresh. We’re really trying to make it affordable as well.”

Many of the dishes – including woodfired pizzas (which have been frozen for delivery); dukkah-dusted wood-roasted half cauliflower with tahini; and grilled cabbage with torched goat’s cheese – will be familiar to Half Acre regulars.

There are also hearty vegetable soups; pork, fennel and chilli sausage rolls; vegetarian lasagnes; chicken schnitzels; and plenty of roasted veggies, curries, tagines and snacks.

A series of special dinners will coincide with cultural food events. Last week was dedicated to Orthodox Easter, and a Shabbat dinner for four ($185) is available every Friday. The menu includes challah; chicken soup with noodles; gin-and-lemon-cured salmon; a roast chicken; salads; vegetables and more.

Kitchen staples include pasta; rice; dairy and soy milks; St Ali coffee; Gippsland cheeses; ice-cream and sorbet from nearby Jock’s; and sweets and pastries (including chocolate babka) by Melbourne-based Sara’s Cakes. There's booze, too – get beer, cider, and Australian and international wines, including plenty of natural drops.

Wright-Smith co-owns Half Acre with Asaf Smoli and Leigh Worcester, the duo behind Food & Desire, and the new venture is helping keep both companies’ chefs busy during the shutdown.

“We love being around people. Not being able to do that was probably one of the hardest things [about the shutdown],” says Wright-Smith. “But it also highlighted there were other people out there in far worse situations than we were ... and they’ve been struggling for a really long time.

“[We thought,] 'how can we keep jobs and how can we still do what we love, which is cooking food and creating experiences for people, and help out others at the same time?'”

Five per cent of all proceeds are being donated to four charities – Safe Steps, St Kilda Crisis Centre, Oz Harvest and Melbourne Indigenous Transition School, which addresses issues relating to family violence, homelessness, food rescue, and Indigenous education.

Customers can also donate directly to the charities through the Food4Good ordering platform, or order a surprise meal for a friend or someone in need.

Deliveries are made on Wednesdays and Fridays within 15 kilometres of the CBD for an $8 fee. Same-day delivery is available for orders placed before 10am. You can also pre-order for pick up Monday to Friday from 12pm to 4pm.

Disclosure: Adam Wright-Smith’s partner is Broadsheet editorial director Katya Wachtel.

food4good.com.au