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Open House dinner for the needy

Nick Nelson and Ana Vastag, loyal supporters of the ‘Open House Dinner’. Photo TWH

Lightning Ridge Community Church

In the heart of Lightning Ridge, where the opal fields reflect the fiery hues of the setting sun, a sense of community flourishes in a way that outshines the brightest gemstone.

It is Tuesday afternoon, and those working behind the scenes in the kitchen of the local Lightning Ridge Community Church are anticipating the fellowship and good food that is to come.

Tuesday night dinners at the church are not just a meal, but a weekly celebration of local generosity, a melting pot of kindness.

Nick Nelson and Ana Vastag, stewards of the Community Gardens, generously supply fresh produce, the fruits of their labour.

Jeannette and Paul Welsh, the compassionate duo behind Food for Families, never miss a chance to donate - their generosity is as steady as the seasons, ensuring that no table is ever short of food.

Through their efforts, the church’s pantry stays full, a bulwark against hunger in the community.

A new addition arrived this week, gleaming under the church fluorescents—a brand new five burner BBQ, a gift from Cat Bowman, who is always thinking of ways to donate to the cause.

Her generosity will spark a new tradition, turning simple meals into feasts when the oven hood is attached to bake delicious roasts big enough to feed the ever-growing numbers.

No culinary team is complete without young Charlie Dodd, the schoolboy with a flair for salads.

After school on Tuesdays, he dashes to the church kitchen, his hands skilfully tossing greens and dressing them with a concoction of herbs and spices. Under Charlie’s care, salads become a centrepiece.

Sue Westwood is another familiar face, with Ella, her loyal service dog, trotting by her side. Together, they are a fixture in the church hall, with Sue’s laughter mingling with the clatter of pots and pans and Ella’s gentle eyes watching over the hustle and bustle. […]

Read more in the printed edition of The Western Herald.

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