Published on 28 April 2020

Onkaparinga at Home: Eating well

One of the biggest changes effected by the coronavirus pandemic has been how we buy and consume our food.

Our local cafes and cellar doors are grappling with sudden social distancing restrictions and a lack of tourists. Trips to the supermarket have become fraught. Economic hardship has increased the number of those seeking emergency food assistance.

Thankfully, Onkaparingans are a creative and resilient bunch, and below you’ll find a directory of businesses and organisations adapting to the changes and continuing to provide delicious meals to residents and those in need.

One such business is Morphett Vale Indian restaurant, Pan Indian, which pivoted to solely takeaway and delivery when strict social distancing restrictions came into effect in March.

Its income has been down 20 per cent since, but its owners still decided to offer free meals and grocery kits to students in self-isolation and those in financial hardship for two weeks earlier this month.

“We belong to the Sikh religion and community, and our guru, Guru Granth Sahib, teaches us to help people in need or in crisis in the form of langar [communal free kitchen],” says co-owner Jaspreet Singh.

The Pan Indian team have also contacted humanitarian aid group Khalsa Aid with the offer of delivering groceries on their behalf to people in need.

“We love this area and our message to the community is please support local business,” Jaspreet says.

Food initiatives – hardship

There are a range of organisations (including council), community centres, churches and mosques offering food initiatives (free or low-cost meals, groceries, bread, etc.) across the City of Onkaparinga if you’re in need.

Head to the food initiatives page on the council website where you’ll find a link to emergency food assistance options, and another to alternative food options across the city.

Supporting local businesses

Eateries have had to adapt to government restrictions fast, which has seen drive-through bottle shops offering takeaway pub meals, and popular cafes offering deliveries and pre-made heat-and-eat meals.

The ON Business Partner Program business directory is a great way to find new local places to wine and dine, while a public Facebook group promoting restaurants and cafes offering pick-up and take-away in the southern suburbs is also a gold mine for recommendations.

Tourism hotspots

Our McLaren Vale & Fleurieu Coast region is home to an abundance of award-winning cellar doors, wineries, restaurants, cafes, craft beer and gin distilleries. While they’ve all been affected by social distancing restrictions, thankfully many are still open for takeaway and home delivery.

We’ve put together a handy list (updated daily) of who’s offering what, so you can still order your favourite dishes while supporting local.


If you’re in quarantine or self-isolation, or simply looking to reduce your time in the supermarket, there are a heap of places offering grocery delivery and/or click-and-collect services across the city.

The major supermarkets’ offerings are complemented by smaller local grocery businesses such as Adelaide Fresh Fruiterers Morphett ValeTC’s Fruit and Veg at Seaford, Suntralis Foods at Lonsdale, Meeting Place McLaren Vale and The people’s pantry at O’Halloran Hill.

And, if you’re still heading out to grab your groceries, the Willunga Farmers Market is still open for business.

Too good to waste

It’s a bumper apple and pear season with trees bursting with fruit, and that means lots of windfall, damaged, or excess fruit that won’t be eaten.⁠

The Food Embassy have been collecting windfall apples and seconds pears from McCarthy’s Orchard in McLaren Vale and sharing them among the community. Apples and pears have gone to families in need in Seaford Meadows and Aldinga, Food for Freedom meals for women fleeing domestic violence, and to some local residents that have cooked up an apple storm.

We’ve partnered with the both Food Embassy and Folk of all Trades to share lots of ways to use excess apples while they’re in season, including homemade cider. Find out more about the online workshops on our Facebook page.

Food for thought

This uncertain and unprecedented time, when we’re being asked to socially distance ourselves, raises many questions about how we consume food – now and into the long term.

City of Onkaparinga’s Healthy Lifestyles Officer has put together a handy fact sheet helping to answer some of these questions, such as how we can come together as a community to support each other (e.g. via shopping local and donating food to those in need), and what role can we play in the future of our food (e.g. by growing it at home).

An Online Green Living Series – via the Folk of all Trades Facebook page – is also offering free workshops every Friday covering topics such as growing veggiesmaking sourdough bread and soap making.

This is part five of a series of articles titled Onkaparinga at Home, where we shine a light on how our communities are dealing with COVID-19.

To see what relief measures council has implemented and what council services are currently affected by COVID-19, visit our community information page. For the latest information on COVID-19 in South Australia, please visit the coronavirus dashboardSA Health website or call the SA COVID-19 Information Line on 1800 253 787.

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A delicious spread from Morphett Vale restaurant, Pan Indian.