HelpBerkeley: COVID-19

General FAQs about ordering meals

We are very happy to be able to provide this service to our neighbors in Berkeley :slight_smile: For a while we thought it would be impossible to put together! But it is very difficult for our restaurant partners and us to provide this service. We depend solely on volunteers for all we do. Our wonderful restaurants partners have to work very hard to break even on our members’ orders, in order to offer rations at a price that everyone can afford for a long period of time, while they are isolated or sick. To make this possible, we have had to simplify as much as possible both the processes and the menus. So there is very little flexibility in how we can produce and deliver meals!

Q: What is a ration?

A: a ration is the meal unit we use: it consists of one dinner plus the next day’s lunch. Our members order rations from our generous restaurant partners.

Q: Who can order rations?

A: Rations are for people who are self-isolating, sick or quarantined. Priority goes to sick people.

Q: My partner is sick. I am not, but I am taking care of my partner and I am quarantined. Can I order rations for the two of us?

A: Yes! We understand that you are in a very tough situation. We want to help. Please order rations for both of you, and for your dependents living with you if need be.

Q. I am neither self-isolating, nor sick nor quarantined. Can I order rations?

A: Please don’t–we wish you could :frowning: Our volume of daily rations is limited to our restaurant partners and what they can supply every day. If you order rations without being self-isolating, sick, or quarantined, we may hit our daily maximum number of rations and leave out some COVID-19 patients without food. So please do not order rations if you are not part of the audience we serve: you may deprive those in real need of the rations you order.

Q: Can I order multiple rations?

A: Yes! You can order as many rations as there are people in your household if you are sick or quarantined.

Q: Can I order just one meal, not two?

A: No, sorry :frowning: All meals are packaged in rations. There is no other way to order. It would be too difficult for us to have to order single meals separately at different times of the day.

Q: Can I order exactly what I want from a menu?

A: No, sorry :frowning: The restaurant from which you order prepares rations as a “menu of the day, prix fixe.” They decide what the menu will be. There is no menu to choose from, except that you can, in general, choose between a veggie ration and a normal ration.

Q: If I order from the same restaurant two days on a row, while I get the same menu?

A. In general, menus in each restaurant change from one day to the next–but this may not always be true.

Q: Can I ask what the menu will be when I order?

A. No. sorry :frowning: The menu for tomorrow is not available when you order the day before.

Q: I am allergic to gluten. Can I order gluten-free meals?

A: Yes! If you read our list of restaurant partners you will find where to order gluten-free.

Q: I am allergic to xxx. How can I make sure that I won’t have a reaction?

A: We have absolutely no way to know, since we do not make food, but simply put you in touch with restaurants who were kind enough to agree to provide very cost-effective meals. You MUST do your due diligence with the restaurant from which you intend to order.

Q: Can I order a ration for tonight?

A. No, sorry :frowning: We schedule our drivers tonight for tomorrow, and plan their routes in the same manner. Our restaurant partners also plan their rations tonight for tomorrow. So the only way to get a ration delivered tomorrow is to order it today before 5:00 pm.

Q: What if I call too today after 5:00pm for delivery tomorrow?

A: We are very sorry, but today after 5:00pm you will only be able to ask for delivery the day after tomorrow. We pick up the delivery lists for tomorrow at today at 5:00pm, so after 5:00pm today we cannot add addresses to our delivery lists for tomorrow.

Q: Do I really have to use the exact words HelpBerkeley rations when ordering?

A: Yes. These rations are not on the menu. We have worked with our restaurant partners to come up with the most cost-effective way to deliver tasty food to our sick neighbors: these are special items. The only way for the order taker to understand what you are asking for is to use these exact words: HelpBerkeley rations.

@KaelanTdT These FAQs are maybe a little too focused on being sick versus being self isolated or quarantined. I think we want to support all 3 cases.

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I edited a few words. @MPFarrell, can you validate that it fits the mission?

Yes. I think it is fine.

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