Meals are being delivered for free to elderly and vulnerable residents by a Bognor Regis cafe owner.
Rick Rayner is keen to ensure his loyal customers are still able to enjoy the home-cooked style food from his family-run eatery in the town centre.
He and his wife, Colleen, and a dedicated team, launched the delivery service on Monday to ensure those who rely on Rick’s Cafe can still enjoy its wholesome meals.
Rick said: “It’s far more than a cafe. Yes, the main reason people come in is for the food, of course.
“But there is a strong community feel here and we see lots of regulars who enjoy not just the meals but the social side, too.
“We have been supported over the years by these people and feel duty- bound to try to help them out in this time of need and thought the free delivery service was a great way to do this.”
Rick has been in business for more than 40 years, most recently at his current Queensway premises after a move from the Picturedrome building.
He started work in the industry as a teenager at a cafe run by Terry Turner, the brother of Pip Turner, whose firm is Turner’s Pies.
But he had to close his cafe last week after new government rules banning social premises from opening in a bid to halt the spread of coronavirus.
“Of course, we are happy to comply with the government policy of closing places where people congregate and this is absolutely the right thing to do,” said Rick.
“But we can deliver takeaways as well as delivering to those who need us most.”
Long-standing customer, Aldwick man Kevin Welling, said the delivery service was an excellent idea.
“Not everyone has a ready-made support network and the old and vulnerable need to self-isolate.
“This is a great way to ensuring they get the nourishment they need,” he said.
Colleen said the deliveries would be for elderly and vulnerable people first and foremost.
“We will be opening only for takeaways and deliveries,” she added. “Please phone ahead and place orders on 01243 842598.
“We appreciate people’s support and know that, along with other local businesses, with everyone behind us, we will get through this.”