Bayleaf's Dan Readman and Suncoast Fresh manager Sam Johnson with goods for those in need.
Bayleaf's Dan Readman and Suncoast Fresh manager Sam Johnson with goods for those in need.

How businesses are putting kindness in a box

THESE are trying times for many. When you are in isolation and possibly also facing financial hardship, the prospect of helping others in need may seem hopeless.

But Byron Bay’s Bayleaf cafe has launched a program connecting those in need with food boxes delivered straight to their door.

And anyone can help; they’re looking for nominations for local families who deserve a hand.

The project will run in partnership with other local businesses, including Suncoast Fresh, Brookfarm, IGA Byron Bay, Bread Social and Byron Private.

Bayleaf’s Dan Readman said they’d raised capital to give 100 boxes of produce and other goods to 100 families.

They plan to deliver 50 boxes each week and are aiming for 600 in total. The first will be delivered on Friday.

Mr Readman said the idea came out of a conversation between friends. It’s aimed at particularly helping those who might not yet have access to government supports that are in place, who would be greatly helped by a lightening of the groceries burden.

Connecting the broader community through the nominations process means countless people can help, even if they can’t support the program with goods or money, he said.

“It really brings the community together to think about people and act.

“Everybody is affected.

“Obviously we’re a cafe so we’re intensely affected by it.

“We had 40 staff and now we have five.”

Regardless of when the pandemic has passed, Mr Readman said there would be a “long road” ahead, with autumn and winter months devoid of the usual festivals and other events.

“A simple kindness can go such a long way,” he said.

The program aligns perfectly with Bayleaf’s ethos.

“We’ve always considered ourselves a community business anyway,” Mr Readman said.

“It’s always been a hangout for the community, everyone congregates there.

“We’ve always tried to be community minded.”

To nominate a family who will benefit from the program, visit the website www.bayleafbyronbay.com/nominate-a-mate