Meals on wheels as Macquarie Lions Club gets a new food van

THE Lions barbecue is something of a culinary institution in Bathurst and now, thanks to a new $40,000 food van, those snags are going to be served in style.

The Macquarie Lions Club of Bathurst put its new food van through its paces for the first time on Friday, with dozens of club members and local MPs on hand to taste the wares.

Club president Michael Ryan said the van was the result of three tiers of government working together for the good of the community.

He said the new van – complete with refrigeration, solar panels and running hot water – would ensure the club complied with all health regulations when running its fundraising barbecues.

“It started when I ran into (Bathurst MP) Paul Toole at one of the markets and asked him if there was any way to get a grant for a food van,” Mr Ryan said.

“He said ‘yes’ and showed me where to apply, and we got $10,000 from that.

“Then we got a grant of $15,000 from the Australian Lions Foundation which our club had to match dollar-for-dollar, and that covered the cost of the van.”

Next came the question of where to house the van, and Bathurst Regional Council offered a corner of the public car park on Stanley Street.

Council paid for and poured the slab while Mick Whittaker from Bathurst Real Estate donated $5500 and Calare MP Andrew Gee secured a $10,000 federal government grant to cover the cost of a new shed.

Mr Gee, a Lions member himself in Orange, said he had seen the good work the clubs do across Australia.

“The Lions motto is ‘we serve’ and that’s what they’re all about,” he said.

“This van, with the help of three levels of government, will help the Lions better serve our community.”