Published on 21 May 2019

Every Friday, in a crowded retirement village dining room in West Gosford, you’ll find Lorraine Grosby dishing up two things: a tight game of bingo and thirty hot lunches.

For the elderly regulars, the Meals on Wheels Community Restaurant is a special event.

“It’s about our clients getting a nice meal and, most importantly, friendship. They might make a phone call, to check on each other during the week, but the only time they get to see each other is in the restaurant. We arrange transport for them and our role is dedicated to ensuring they have a great day out,” says Lorraine.          

Lorraine, who’s helped by a team of volunteers, runs a high energy operation and juggles the roles of restauranteur, carer and gameshow host, all while making sure no name or birthday is forgotten.  
Meals on Wheels is a not-for-profit organisation and its services exist on a tight budget, but rising energy costs have forced the charity to tighten its belt.

“Our electricity bills have been going up and that’s really impacted Meals on Wheels…for us every cent matters. It could mean replacing some equipment [like] our industrial oven or the bain-maries. The rising costs also impact the services we can provide—it might mean getting one more volunteer to give someone a meal.”

To claw back some savings, Meals on Wheels Central Coast used the NSW Business Chamber’s Energy Comparison Service, giving them an estimated saving of $11,000 off their next annual energy bill—a number Lorraine says equates to about 3000 extra meals on the table.

 “$11,000 is a lot of money for a charity and can really make a difference helping vulnerable people. Plus, I really love my job and I’ll be doing it for as long as Meals on Wheels are around…hopefully we’ll be around for a long time.”

Since the scheme started earlier this year, NSWBC has helped more than 1,000 businesses and residential customers wipe over one million dollars collectively from estimated future annual electricity and gas bills. 
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