Clifford's Quality Cuts' Steve Clifford, the Bridge Hotel's Jeremy Furze and Sprout Bakery's Patricia Cridge are proud to be supporting local battlers with free meals during the coronavirus crisis.

Castlemaine’s Bridge Hotel has teamed up with local businesses to offer free meals to those doing it tough during the coronavirus crisis as part of its ‘Trooper Tuesdays’ initiative.
The Bridge recently introduced a pub meal takeaway and home delivery service to enable them to keep their chefs and kitchenhand employed during the pandemic closure and keep their business ticking over.
The Bridge’s Jeremy Furze said one of their first deliveries was to a couple with twins and it got them thinking there were probably other families and individuals out there who could do with a hearty meal and some community support during this challenging time.
“We also heard of families exchanging meals to mix things up as they couldn’t afford takeaway,” he said.
The Bridge invited community members to nominate battlers doing it tough as a result of job losses, business downturns or loneliness during the pandemic to receive a meal and has been inundated with nominations.
“From families to the elderly we have had some lovely nominations and we look forward to providing them with a tasty meal on our ‘Trooper Tuesdays’ over the coming weeks to brighten their day and let them know that their local community cares about them,” Jeremy said.
The business has garnered the support of local butcher Clifford Quality Cuts Castlemaine, Sprout Artisan Bakery @ The Mill and Gung Hoe Growers at Harcourt to make the free meals possible.
Community members can nominate troopers for a meal via The Bridge Hotel website and are also welcome to kick in a few dollars towards the initiative if they wish.
Clifford’s Quality Cuts’ Steve Clifford said his team was proud to give something back to the community that supports them.
“People have been wonderful, so supportive and patient with the new restrictions during this time,” he said.
Sprout Bakery’s Patricia Cridge agreed.
“While we initially lost a large portion of our wholesale business as a result of the closure of local cafes, we have since been buoyed by community support. People have been actively making an effort to shop locally and support us and our customer base has actually grown during this time,” she said.
If you’d like to indulge in a pub meal from the comfort of home you can check out The Bridge Hotel’s menu in today’s Midland Express or visit their website at