In the last several weeks, we've written to you about the additional precautions that we are taking to keep our team and your family as safe as possible.
Family Dinner is not yet being affected in major ways by COVID-19. We are happy to continue working with and supporting our network of farmers at a critical time when farmer's markets and other public venues are closed. And they are eager to continue working with us, so that all of you have access their delicious food.
We are closely following all of the information from the CDC and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. We will share any updates or changes in procedure to you. Please see below for a list of safety precautions that we have implemented in response to the challenges we now face:
Before Anyone Even Shows Up to Work!
- We have a strict "stay at home" sick policy for anyone who is not feeling well. We ask our team members for their temperatures on the day before and the day of their shift. If they do not feel well, or they LIVE with someone who does not feel well, we instruct them to stay home. We pay them sick pay for the time they would have worked.
- If any team member has traveled recently, or is exposed to potential contact from a coworker, roommate, friend, or family member, they are quarantined from Family Dinner for two weeks and will still be paid for their time.
- Paid sick leave is not something we are required to do but it is something we deeply believe in, for our team's safety and for yours, too.
Packing and Sorting Food
- We typically have 16-20 people in the kitchen packing shares and delivering to your homes. We are now minimizing the number of people in the kitchen so that we can limit the number of people who handle your food. This also helps our team stay safer by giving each person a radius of 6 feet to do their work. Instead of 16-20 people in the kitchen, we now have just 6.
- All team members are required to wash their hands and put gloves on before starting work. Gloves are changed between each task.
- We will continue to uphold the highest food safety guidelines, including thorough cleaning and sanitization of all food contact surfaces.
- Many of the food items are now pre-bagged at the farm to decrease contact with each item.
- We will be packing our shares in paper bags for the foreseeable future. We are committed to using as few single-use materials as possible, but this move to paper seems prudent. Once things return to normal, we'll resume use of reusable fabric bags to deliver your shares.
- Our driving team has increased and will operate in fleets, meaning each driver takes a set of shares, delivers those shares, and returns to the kitchen for another route. This enables us to get the same amount of deliveries completed with fewer people in contact with your food and each other.
- We will still be delivering right to your door, but will be following the practice of "unattended delivery" for the time being. You will still receive a text when your driver is on their way. Your driver will be instructed to text you or ring your doorbell and then leave your share on the porch or in a cooler if you have left one.
- As we manage this together, we really appreciate your patience. Your share may be delivered slightly later than it normally would be. There may also be a delay in responses to email, as your happy email response crew will be among the 6 in the kitchen.
- We are working diligently to get you your shares in a timely and safe manner. Our team is putting their own health at risk to deliver this essential service. We are extraordinarily grateful to you for giving us the opportunity to serve your family, and to our team for the effort and courage they are putting forward in the face of this crisis.
We want to do everything possible to keep this wonderful community healthy, happy, and well fed. Please let your friends and family know that we are still delivering, and would be happy to serve them while we all weather this storm together.
Lastly, here are a couple of articles that may give you some peace of mind.
Don’t panic about shopping, getting delivery or accepting packages
By Joseph G. Allen
March 26, 2020 at 8:10 a.m. EDT
The Washington Post, Opinion Section
Food Safety and the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
March 27, 2020
United States Food & Drug Administration
"Currently there is no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with transmission of COVID-19.
"Unlike foodborne gastrointestinal (GI) viruses like norovirus and hepatitis A that often make people ill through contaminated food, SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, is a virus that causes respiratory illness. Foodborne exposure to this virus is not known to be a route of transmission."
Please stay home. Eat well. And wash your hands. :)
Love and (virtual) hugs,
Erin, Tim, and the Family Dinner Team