Keep­ing the meals mov­ing

The Cobram Courier - - NEWS -

Meals on Wheels is ben­e­fit­ing from the kind sup­port of Co­bram’s Bendigo Bank, re­ceiv­ing $880 to help buy a new Esky.

‘‘Ev­ery year we do an Easter raf­fle or Mother’s Day raf­fle and the whole idea is that the money will re­main in Co­bram and will ben­e­fit the com­mu­nity,’’ Bendigo Bank branch man­ager Tracy Simp­kin said.

‘‘It’s great. A lot of the em­ploy­ees here buy tick­ets and the to­tal monies raised came to be $880, which is a pretty stan­dard amount for th­ese raf­fles.

‘‘We al­ways en­cour­age mem­bers of the com­mu­nity to bank with us be­cause they can flag their ac­count to the Co­bram Com­mu­nity En­ter­prise and the idea of the raf­fle is just an ex­ten­sion of that, re­ally — putting money back into the com­mu­nity,’’ she said.

The com­mu­nity en­ter­prise fund of­fers grants to char­i­ta­ble and not-for­profit or­gan­i­sa­tions to ben­e­fit the Co­bram and district com­mu­nity.

In the past 10 years, the pro­gram has raised more than $500 000, with some go­ing to­wards ma­jor com­mu­nity projects such as the li­brary and new cin­ema, as well as smaller projects.

MHA Care chief ex­ec­u­tive Michael Ho­gan said the money would be used to buy a new Esky, pur­pose­built to main­tain food for long car trips, cru­cial for Meals on Wheels.

‘‘This kind do­na­tion from Bendigo Bank will go a long way to­wards buy­ing a brand new Esky and hope­fully put us in a po­si­tion to buy a sec­ond one down the track as well,’’ he said.

‘‘The ones we have now are five or six years old and in need of re­plac­ing, so this will make a big dif­fer­ence.’’

The spe­cial Esky needed was worth be­tween $500 and $600.

In the past year alone, 120 Co­bram Meals on Wheels vol­un­teers have de­liv­ered 7002 main meals to 101 cus­tomers, so the new Esky will be put to good use.

Co­bram Meals on Wheels co-or­di­na­tor Lor­raine North­east said the ser­vice was not only a food provider, but also served as a com­mu­nity con­nec­tion for those the ser­vice vis­ited.

‘‘The ser­vice sup­ports peo­ple to be in­de­pen­dent, which is re­ally im­por­tant,’’ she said.

Com­mu­nity fo­cus: Lizette Mezen­berg, Wendy Far­rell, Tracy Simp­kin, Lor­raine North­east and Michael Ho­gan are all help­ing to im­prove the com­mu­nity.

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