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Byron Shire
October 16, 2021

The Cove helping out during the pandemic

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Colin Lee and Dave Harmon from Rotary Ballina, Danny Singh owner of The Cove Restaurant and Kylie Toomey, Brad Eriksson- and Michelle Teece from Momentum Collective. Photo supplied

Most restaurants are doing it tough because of the pandemic and the owners of The Cove restaurant in Ballina say they have experienced a downturn in business during Covid-19.

Yet, it that hasn’t stopped them from providing free meals to people experiencing tough times during the pandemic.

The Cove owner Danny Singh said he was concerned about how people who were already struggling would cope during the pandemic so offered free meals as a way of supporting his local community.

‘Firstly, we started this to help few locals who had lost jobs overnight due to closure of business and anyone doing tough,’ said Danny.

‘We have had a lot of support from our local community over the years, so I wanted to give something back. You don’t realise how many people are going through tough times until you offer to help and actually meet the people who need a hand.’

Ballina on Richmond Rotary Club donation

When the local Ballina on Richmond Rotary Club heard that Danny was offering free meals to local people impacted by Covid-19 and those experiencing homelessness and domestic violence, they approached him to help out.

Col Lee from Rotary said the club could see the need for this service in the community and had the capacity to support the initiative by ‘paying it forward’. ‘When Danny mentioned what was happening with Covid-19 we could see the need for support for people who lost their jobs and a lot of people out there who have some real life challenges through domestic violence or depression,’ he said.

‘These are people who have been in Ballina for a long time and it wasn’t really sustainable from a business perspective for Danny to keep providing a free meal service. So we stepped in and offered $2,500 to pay for the meals he was providing.’

The Momentum Collective

Both Danny and Ballina on Richmond Rotary Club have also been supporting local community service provider Momentum Collective.

A number of Momentum’s clients who are experiencing domestic and family violence and homelessness have taken up the offer of free meals from The Cove.

In response Momentum Collective has also contributed $1,000 to The Cove to pay for some of the meals being provided. Sarah Dybing, Momentum Collective’s service director of community programs says the free meals have generated a lot of goodwill in the community. ‘We are really grateful to Danny for his generosity and community spirit,’ she said.

‘The people we support are able to go into the restaurant and order a meal without any judgement. It is all done very discretely and allows people to maintain their dignity.

Blessed, privileged and grateful

Danny says everyone at The Cove feels very blessed, privileged and grateful for the unbelievable enormous support they received. ‘It shows what a great community we have.

‘We have served nearly 1000 meals to people doing tough and this all became possible because of the generosity of people around us.

‘The people we are supporting are so grateful to us and we feel blessed that we are in the position to help them through the generosity of our community and Rotary Club of Ballina on Richmond and Momentum.’

Anyone wanting to help out they can simply come in The Cove restaurant or ring us 6686 6594 or 0424 734 442.

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  1. Most families are staying homes to eat, taking the rise out of the bread, flattening the curve instead of going down to the Cove in Ballina. The Cove Restaurant is light on in diners at the moment so I will do a bit of a rant while I rest and hear what the coves down there have to say. I turn down this here street while I feel a bit peckish and then I pull up outside and I smell the delicious aromas coming from the kitchen. Something is cooking.
    I turn down the radio. The owners said there was downturn in business because of the pandemic and my stomach began to rumble. No time to grumble. I got out of the car. “Do you feel hungry?” I strode to the door and there were a few coves out the front of the Cove Restaurant. One stamped on a lighted cigarette and put it out. Flattening the curve I thought just right next to the curb. It was a straight street, and it didn’t curve like some streets.
    I looked at one of the coves out the front and then I went in through the door and I stopped and looked back as I was down on my luck. “Hey, do you want join me, they have free meals, just fattening my curves.”


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