Here’s how things usually work at Tad Largey’s farm in Raynham. A shipment of baby chicks arrives in the mail, and eight weeks later they’re ready to be sold. Feather Brook Farms free-range chickens and farm-raised beef have long been in demand at high end restaurants in Boston and Cambridge, where farm to table food is prized.

When the coronavirus spread forced restaurants to either limit service to take out or shut down altogether, about 90 percent of Largey’s business disappeared. Yet, his sales are poised to be better than ever.

“Where so many people are out of work and hurting, and you’re doing well,” he said, “it’s a different feeling.”

Largey said he knows what it’s like to suffer during an economic downturn and it’s one of the reasons he got into farming.

“I figured, hey, no matter what, everybody’s got to eat,” he said.

What’s changed, of course, is the way people are eating. Before the pandemic, more than half of food dollars were spent outside the home, in places like restaurants and cafeterias. Now, far more of what we eat is prepared at home. And in order to stay solvent, many local food producers have had to shift from supplying institutional to individual customers.

Largey has found a lucrative niche supplying specialty grocery stores and a service that delivers locally produced food direct to customers’ door steps. At the beginning of March, that delivery service, Family Dinner, had about 200 customers. In the last couple of weeks, co-owner Erin Baumgartner said that number has more than doubled.

“It’s clear that people don’t want to go to the grocery store, it’s clear that people feel much more safe with home delivery,” she said. “We’re lucky that’s always been our model, so we had technologies in place that allowed us to do it.”

That desire to stay out of the grocery store has driven up demand for all kinds of food delivery services, including one mushroom farmer Julia Coffey launched after most of her customers — including UMass Amherst — closed.

“It was a big knee-jerk reaction, and I can say fear was a driving factor,” she said.

She rallied a small group of farmers she knew from the Northampton Farmers Market, and within three days they launched Massachusetts Food Delivery, a service that delivers locally farmed food to customers' doorsteps. It was flooded with so much traffic, it crashed.

“We’re farmers,” she said. “We’re not tech gurus.”

They’ve since upgraded the site and in four weeks, the business has gone from just over 80 to 800 customers. She has even hired former restaurant workers to help. But the service comes with added costs — for instance, it takes more time to package food for individual rather than institutional customers. Coffey’s not yet sure if she’s actually making money.

“We’re not losing money, and we’re keeping the bills paid, and I’m very much a numbers person, so I’d love to give a sense of the margin,” she said. “But at this point we’ve been so busy, I haven’t had a chance to crunch the numbers.”

Uncertainty is a big part of the calculation for farmers planting now for a fall harvest — will restaurants re-open by then and once again buy local produce? Will people show up at farmer’s markets?

“Obviously, there’s a loss of consistency right now because of the crisis, and farmers need to be reassured right now that there’s going to be a market,” said Winton Pitcoff, director of the Massachusetts Food System Collaborative.

Pitcoff is part of the state’s newly formed Food Security Task Force. As job losses mount, the task force is looking at ways to make sure people have food. One idea Pitcoff suggested is farms that once grew produce for restaurants could instead be contracted to supply food to meet the growing demand at food banks.

“This crisis is going to have long-term effects on food supply and on food demand,” he said. “This is an important time to make sure farmers in Massachusetts are growing at capacity.”

The spread of the coronavirus has already led to shutdowns at some of the big pork and chicken processing plants across the country, evidence, said Largey, of weaknesses in the food supply chain.

“We’re able to step in and fill small voids and, God forbid there’s something greater coming at us and if you don’t have any local way or if you have no way of feeding yourself other than large ag [sic], I really don’t see how you survive as a community,“ he said. “There needs to be something. There has to be a safety net. And I think that we’re a part of that.”