Rotary Club of Cessnock volunteers offer free Tuesday lunch for people in need

LUNCH IS SERVED: Rotary Club of Cessnock volunteers Vicki Steep, Penny McNaughton, Harma Hill, Sharon Waite and Greg Bevan preparing lunch at the TAFE grounds on Tuesday. Picture: Krystal Sellars
LUNCH IS SERVED: Rotary Club of Cessnock volunteers Vicki Steep, Penny McNaughton, Harma Hill, Sharon Waite and Greg Bevan preparing lunch at the TAFE grounds on Tuesday. Picture: Krystal Sellars

The Rotary Club of Cessnock is a small but generous group of volunteers, who always look out for others when times are tough.

The club has started providing free lunch for vulnerable people in the Cessnock TAFE grounds every Tuesday.

Club president Vicki Steep said members identified a need for this service in the community.

"It's something we have wanted to do for many years," Ms Steep said.

"After the closure of Hunter Hands of Hope, we saw a need to fill the gap.

"Because we can't fundraise at the moment, this is a way that we can still be out in the community."

The lunch is served in a strict COVID-safe manner, with all volunteers double-vaccinated, and QR code check-in, mask-wearing and social distancing measures in place.

Service runs from 12pm to 1.15pm Tuesdays and the menu changes weekly.

Based on demand, another day may be added.

KIND: Friends of Rotary, Penny McNaughton, Liz Lamb and Wendy Harrop gave their time to help the Rotary Club of Cessnock prepare meals. Picture: George Koncz

KIND: Friends of Rotary, Penny McNaughton, Liz Lamb and Wendy Harrop gave their time to help the Rotary Club of Cessnock prepare meals. Picture: George Koncz

As the Rotary club can't hold fundraising barbecues during lockdown, it is holding a monthly 100 Club via its Facebook page to raise money for the lunch service.

Post-lockdown, the club is also planning to hold free morning tea at Marthaville House every Thursday (stay tuned for a launch date).

It is also working on a bike restoration project in partnership with Cessnock Bicycle Company, repairing old bikes that will be given to kids in need.

The club always welcomes new members, volunteers and sponsors. Meetings are held on Thursday nights, and are conducted via Zoom during lockdown.

For inquiries, call 0414 842 327, 0448 329 926 or 0418 250 887, email cessnockrotary@gmail.com, or contact the club via Facebook.