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Grover Beach meal prep business sharing "sponsored" meals, promoting local businesses harmed by coronavirus

Posted at 8:06 AM, Mar 31, 2020

With the statewide order to stay home amid the coronavirus outbreak, many people are forced to with juggle work, childcare, and meal preparations but one Grover Beach business is taking the hassle out of dinner.

The Menu Meal Prep is based in Grover Beach and company owner Natalie Magana is seeing a major increase in demand for delivery service and she's sharing the wealth with her community.

On Monday, Magana's crew delivered hundreds of trays of red curry with turmeric rice and Thai chicken salad to customers from Nipomo to Paso Robles

"Individual portions in recyclable containers, they can heat them up or eat them cold, how ever they like them," Magana said. "But they're ready to go, so no cooking."

Dressed in gloves and masks, Magana and her crew prep the meals Sunday at a commercial kitchen and distribute them Monday.

The meals are $10 per serving and are delivered right to the customer's door.

Magana, who has been operating the service for three years, has recently experienced a notable uptick in orders from customers who are now working from home and looking to simplify their dinner plans.

"We had, just last week alone, our meals increased about 100 meals, so we're seeing a very significant increase right now," Magana said.

Convenience is something many people are coming to appreciate while under quarantine.

"I'm working also at home, but for me, even though it's just me in the house, I'm able to save time on prepping meas and knowing they're nutritional," Brenda Kong, a longtime customer, said.

The menu meal prep helps customers like Kong take an extra burden off her plate by putting dinner on it.

"(The meals are) healthy, wholesome," Kong said. "I don't even look what's on it, I just take one of each because I know they're good."

With all the increased revenue Magana has seen from new clients, she's decided to give back to the community through free meals and the promotion of other local businesses.

Magana began distributing what she's calling sponsored meals, where customers can pay for a meal to be donated to someone in need.

Her customers have already footed the bill for 100 meals so Magana matched that, sharing 200 total meals with people in need.

And the love extends to struggling businesses.

"Last week, we had just baked, a bakery in Atascadero that's had to close down during this time," Magana said. "So we added a few items from her bakery to our menu and we were able to deliver meals with some of her items. 100 percent of those proceeds went to just baked."

This week, The Menu Meal Prep shared products from K9 Cuisine.

Two weeks into a countywide quarantine, Magana is serving up both nourishment and comfort one meal at a time.

Check out The Menu Meal Prep by clicking here.