In the Midst of the Novel Coronavirus, Hotel Supporting Dual-Career Families
In response to the school closures, resulting from the continuous spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Hotel Urban Port (in Fukui Prefecture, Obama City, Hiyoshi) started a home lunch delivery service, the “Home Meal Support Bento”, for elementary and junior high school students staying at home within the city. Until April 6th, the staff, who have children of their own, will be making deliveries during the weekdays. “This is a time to persevere. Even if just a little, we hope to help lighten the burden of dual-career families,” expressed the hotel.
The supervisor (aged 46) had planned the service alongside staff who were also parents. Information about the service was published on social networking sites from March 10th. On the first day, there was only one order. As word continued to spread, orders increased, with approximately 40 bentos delivered on March 13th.
There are five varieties of bentos. The hamburger steak, chicken karaage, and daily special bentos are ¥540 each (tax included). A Japanese and a western-style daily special bento, with a slightly larger portion, are ¥864 each. In addition to a coleslaw salad (¥162), Wakasa Beef Tendon Curry (¥378), and Wakasa Beef Stew (¥648) are also available for households that can prepare its own rice. Delivery is free.
To provide a sense of warmth and safety for children who are house-sitting by themselves, staff who are also mothers, will be in charge of the deliveries between 11:00 a.m. and noon. Bentos can also be picked up at the hotel. Orders are also supported for grandparents taking care of the children. While delivery generally operates exclusively within the city, the hotel will respond if there is a significant number of orders from outside the city. Advanced orders can be received up to 6:00 p.m. of the previous day.
“The price is reasonable. This service is really helpful,” says a female employee working in the city, as she picked up her order at Applaudir Hanasouju, a restaurant and wedding venue in Hiyoshi, on March 13th.
The supervisor, speaking from person experience, sympathized with all families, “There are many cases where, even when you had planned to prepare lunch for your child, things like work emergencies can arise, making it impossible to do so.” The supervisor also commented on the children’s situation, “Until the time comes when everyone can meet and have fun at school, I want them to do their best to persevere.”
Orders and inquiries can be made through Hotel Urban Port’s phone line 0770 (53) 2001, as well as to Applaudir Hanasouju 0770 (53) 2020.