It’s been a tough couple of weeks for most of us, as we socially distance in the comfort and safety of our own homes. But our frontline workers – medical staff, aged-care workers, delivery drivers and supermarket employees – don’t have that luxury. They’ve been in hospitals, out on the streets and stacking shelves around the clock to care for the most vulnerable in our community and keep society functioning. So Japanese-inspired salad bar Fishbowl, which launched in Bondi in 2016 (and now has 17 diners in Sydney and one more in Melbourne), wants to reward those workers by keeping them nourished as they go head-to-head with Covid-19.

It works like this: every customer who places an order via one of Fishbowl’s third-party delivery partners (Uber Eats, Deliveroo or Door Dash) will receive a flyer with instructions about how to nominate a frontline worker for a free feed. The customer then writes the name and phone number of the worker on the flyer (if it is an institution, the Fishbowl team will track the number down themselves), posts a photo of it to their own Instagram or Facebook account, and tags Fishbowl’s Instagram or Facebook account in the post. Then, Fishbowl will notify the nominee about their free meal to arrange delivery. While the company can’t guarantee every nominee will be chosen for a free meal, it’s going to try and get as many orders out as possible

The deal applies to any institution or individual you consider “frontline”. It might be a hospital or medical centre, or a nurse, aged-care worker or paramedic. Equally, it could be the local supermarket manager that’s keeping the community fed; the bookseller who’s keeping you entertained (and delivering books); a garbage collector; your neighbourhood butcher; or your kid’s teacher who’s showing up every day.

The number of bowls delivered will be decided on a case-by-case basis – it could be anywhere from one bowl for an individual or 50 bowls for a department of nurses. Fishbowl’s owners say they want to “demonstrate the power of generosity” and remind people that, despite physical distance, we can still band together and help others when the going gets tough.

A raft of other Sydney eateries are also doing their bit to feed people during the pandemic: Balmain Turkish diner Efendy is serving soup for free (or a small donation) to those doing it tough; Enmore eatery Colombo Social is giving away 2000 hot meals for free each day to those struggling to feed themselves and their families; and a whole bunch more are serving free meals to hospitality workers who have suddenly found themselves unemployed.

Find all Fishbowl locations here.

Like many other Sydney eateries, Fishbowl is now doing takeaway and delivery only. Find other businesses that have switched gears here.