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October 14, 2019

Around 60 people per day over three days per week will still be able to get a meal at the Warrawong Community Centre after a $45,000 funding grant was approved.


The Centre’s Lunch Program was under threat of closing until Member for Wollongong, Paul Scully stepped in and pleaded with the NSW Government to keep the purse strings open.


The Lunch Program has been operating for nearly 20 years and provides over 9000 meals a year to disadvantaged people.


The service not only provides meals but also helps people access other support, including early intervention and breaks down social isolation.


Volunteers contribute around 3000 hours a year to help deliver the worthwhile service.


Mr Scully said he was very pleased to have been able to successfully help the Centre continue the lunch program and acknowledged that the Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services, Gareth Ward has been very receptive to his representations.


“This Centre and its volunteers punch above their weight and provide services that help disadvantaged and poor people on a shoe-string budget.


“When I heard the program was under threat because its funding was to be discontinued, I was determined to make sure that the Centre’s doors were going to remain open so up to 60 people per day, over the three days per week the service is open, could get a meal.


“Warrawong and its surrounding suburbs not only rank around the most socially and economically disadvantaged areas in the Wollongong local government area, but they are among the most disadvantaged across the state.


“I am pleased to be able to stand here today at the start of anti-poverty week announcing the Warrawong Community Centre’s Lunch program will remain open.”, he said.


Ms Maxyne Graham, Community Worker Manager, of the Warrawong Community Centre thanked Mr Scully for his efforts and was delighted the lunch program has obtained funding to continue.


“This is really great news for Warrawong’s local community and means we can just get on with the job of helping people who need help the most”, she said.


Mr Scully encouraged local businesses to also consider supporting the lunch program through financial or in-kind sponsorship.