10 May 2024

New set of wheels makes feeding and fundraising easier than ever for Narooma Rotary

| Claire Sams
Start the conversation
Next time you get a sausage sandwich from Narooma Rotary's van, you might notice it looking a bit different.

Next time you get a sausage sandwich from Narooma Rotary’s van, you might notice it looking a bit different. Photo: Supplied.

A South Coast not-for-profit organisation is ready to cook up a storm after its members took possession of a new van recently.

Narooma Rotary board member Laurelle Pacey said the old van had become a common sight at community events and the club’s monthly markets, but it was time for it to retire.

“The van that we had was 40 years old. We bought it secondhand in about 2020, and I think it might have originally come from a Lions Club out in the western suburbs of Sydney somewhere,” she said.

“Quite a few of the members decided to look into what alternatives [to the van] we had – we discussed going to a barbecue trailer, doing away with our catering altogether or buying a new van.

“The majority reckoned that we should look at a new one.”

To cover the cost of the van and a generator, Narooma Rotary applied for a grant from Bendigo Bank’s Community Enterprise Foundation.

“Everyone was pretty excited when we picked up the van, because it was over 12 months since we first put in for the grant,” Ms Pacey said.

“Like any grant application these days, it’s almost a thesis by the time you finish writing it.”

The new van means Narooma Rotary could expand its catering operations at charity events, functions and the monthly Narooma Rotary Markets – and in times of crisis.

READ ALSO From the brink of demolition, a revival brings many to the tables

Ms Pacey said Rotary volunteers worked (or rather cooked) during the Black Summer bushfires to make sure the community did not go hungry.

“Along a lot of the coast, people were told to go to Narooma because it was considered safe,” she said.

“Suddenly, we had this influx of people and the Lions Club and the Rotary Club combined to feed them.

“It was an amazing community effort, but our food van suffered a fair bit through that.”

While the old food van was a converted caravan, this new one is purpose-built.

“The need for a new food van had been apparent for some time,” Ms Pacey said.

“Our new van has two fridges that can also be freezers, depending on what temperature we set them at.

“There is a lot of bench space for prepping food, exhaust fans and three sinks for washing hands and any washing-up.

“It’s just really, really well-equipped.”

READ ALSO Construction finally begins on the Cobargo Bushfire Resilience Centre

More signage and equipment will be added to the new food van as funds become available. It also came with a generator.

“Having the generator means that we can stand alone,” Ms Pacey said. “It means we can stand alone, go to remote places and be ready in an emergency should we ever be required to do something in the future.”

The old food van was sold to Southbound Escapes.

“The old van will be repurposed for something else – it’s still got some life left in it,” Ms Pacey said.

“We’ve catered a lot of different functions using it, but the new owners have big imaginations and will do something else with it.”

Start the conversation

Daily Digest

Do you like to know what’s happening around your region? Every day the About Regional team packages up our most popular stories and sends them straight to your inbox for free. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.