Cherry Street Sport Club continues to provide meals during lockdown

HELPING HANDS: Col Lee and Tere Sheehan (right) have been providing meals to people in Ballina struggling during the COVID-19 lockdown.
HELPING HANDS: Col Lee and Tere Sheehan (right) have been providing meals to people in Ballina struggling during the COVID-19 lockdown.

A BALLINA bowling club has been providing free meals to people struggling during the COVID-19 lockdown across the Northern Rivers.

Cherry Street Sports Club general manager Tere Sheehan said it was a joint initiative which also included Ballina's Hot Meal Centre and the local Rotary club.

There was $20,000 worth of food to be consumed during the course of the lockdown with the service to continue through this weekend.

Some of it could have been frozen while the clubs board of directors suggested the donation drive.

"While everyone is in lockdown, we thought it was our duty to continue to improve the lives of the community we live in," Sheehan said.

"We've been providing ready to heat meals free of charge. Anyone that feels they're in need are welcome to come along and a grab something to eat. There is no judgement and our staff have been there to assist."

The meals have been available to people for a gold coin donation from 56 Swift St, Ballina, on the corner of Cherry and Swift streets, at the Masonic Hall.

The food included curries, a pasta dish and chicken parmigiana with mash and vegetables.

On Monday, Ballina business Hartley's Fresh Market also donated fruit to be handed out with meals and vegetables to be used in meals.

For over twenty years, Ballina Hot Meal Centre has been preparing up to 300 meals for homeless, disadvantaged, and lonely people at the Ballina Masonic Centre, twice a week.

The lunches provided on Tuesdays and Fridays have been in demand for a growing number of people during COVID-19.

Col Lee is on the board of the hot meal centre and also an active Rotary member.

"On behalf of the Ballina Hot Meal Centre we're so thrilled to be able to be part of this," Lee said.

"We can see the value in it and there are so many people who can make use of this in Ballina."

The centre provides hot and frozen takeaway meals as part of its usual service. Westpac bank donated $100 in gold coins.