Nikki’s Neat Eats offers free meal delivery to seniors in Stephenville and Dublin

By Renee Burns

Multimedia Journalist

Crystal DeHay, owner of Nikki’s Neat Eats, is trying to keep her employees working throughout the quarantine by offering a free meal delivery service to seniors this week. The service is set to stop on Friday, March 27, but if it’s possible, DeHay would like to continue with it.

“We would like to, it just depends on if we can do it financially. If we can get some more donations to cover the cost of fuel and the hours, then yes, we would like to,” DeHay said. “We’re just trying to hang in here and go one day at a time, ya know? We’re just, we’re taking it one day at a time, like literally we’ve had to decide that if we make enough today to be open tomorrow then that’s what we’ll do.”

They have around 20 seniors on the delivery list right now and they are trying to make all of those deliveries in the morning, so that they can save the afternoon for other customers.

Photo from Nikki’s Neat Eats Facebook page

DeHay, just like so many other business owners, are stuck in limbo during this time of uncertainty. She must rely on direction from local leaders regarding the daily operations of Nikki’s Neat Eats and finds herself waiting for word from them before making any decisions.

“Today we’re waiting to hear what they decide. If they’re going to quarantine the city, you know, what they’re going to do or do a shelter in place,” DeHay said.

One thing DeHay wants to stress to the citizens of Stephenville and Dublin is that buying local and supporting small businesses is crucial during the quarantine in order for them to survive.

“Encourage people to continue to shop small business. I know that’s hard,” DeHay said. “Small businesses are hanging in here and trying to live through the recession. So, I would just say when possible, shop local and shop small.”

Nikki’s Neat Eats is a small operation with only four employees as well as DeHay, and the business is struggling. In an effort to stay afloat, DeHay has had to change her hours of operation and staffing.

“One of them I’ve had to pretty much lay off and the rest I’ve really had to cut back their hours. They’re working like 12 hours or less,” DeHay said.

According to a post on their Facebook page, Nikki’s Neat Eats is open from 7 a.m. until 2 p.m.

If you would like to help DeHay continue delivering meals to seniors and the community, she asks that you make financial donations instead of food.

Photo from Nikki’s Neat Eats Facebook page posted on Aug. 12, 2019.

“If anybody wanted to help in any way, food isn’t really the problem. We’ve had quite a few people donate that. If they could just donate financially,” DeHay said. “Because I’m also trying to keep my employees working, and this is one way I can do that. So, if they want to donate to help, that’s what it helps. To pay for gas in the car and also to help pay their salaries so that I can keep them working.”

Nikki’s Neat Eats offers a variety of items and their entire menu is available for order including some individual meals as well as casseroles. You can order by phone or online and have them to-go, curbside pick-up or delivered.

If you’re interested in ordering, consider trying one of their more popular items. DeHay said their two most popular sellers are the club sandwich and the turkey bacon swiss, but the king ranch chicken casserole is a popular item too.

For more information you can visit their Facebook page Nikki’s Neat Eats or you can call them at 254-977-4670.

If you would like to make a donation, DeHay asks that you come by their store in Dublin at 117 E. Blackjack St. or call her directly at the phone number listed above.

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