Greg Breland and the Lori’s Catering crew are used to feeding literal armies, but they’ve never faced anything quite like this.
The catering company, now celebrating more than 40 years in business, has military and police contracts across the entire Fraser Valley, frequently feeding scores of Canadian Forces’ finest during training exercises. They were ready to go with a six-unit feast when the pandemic hit.
“The army stood down,” Breland recalled. “Everything was canceled – all weddings, banquets, any event with an accumulation of people, all the way to Vancouver.”
The business lost virtually all of its revenue in one fell swoop, another victim of the COVID-19 pandemic that has put so many businesses of all sizes in jeopardy. However, instead of laying off staff and closing up shop, Breland had another plan. He and his staff began selling food at low cost to the community, cooking two meals per day Monday through Friday, prepared hot and fresh, in the hopes that those who can’t go out or cook often for themselves get the food they need.
“We’ve had a good response, so we just kept on doing it,” Breland said. “We just finished three weeks already and we’re still getting orders.”
“We had almost $10,000 worth of food here,” he added. “Why let it all go to waste?”
Excess fresh supplies were given to local homeless shelters for immediate use, Breland noted.
Lori’s has sold nearly 2,000 pot pies and averages between 100 to 200 meals per day.
“Its good all around,” Breland said.
While Lori’s mostly deals with locals and delivering to those in isolation, Breland said there have been customers from as far away as Maple Ridge and Surrey.
Lori’s Catering is available from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. They can be reached at 604-796-9326 or via email at email@example.com.
Other restaurants in the area have also adapted to the coronavirus outbreak in similar fashion. Milos and Black Forest in Harrison Hot Springs are also contributing 50 meals per day to those in need or who are unable to leave the house due to the pandemic. Pickup is available at Milos between 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Milos is located at 234 Esplanade Avenue and they can be reached at 604-880-7452.