Free nutritious food and social engagement are on offer every Wednesday at the Cessnock Uniting Church Hall, thanks to the Rotary Club of Cessnock.

The Rotary Club began offering a free weekly lunch to homeless, disadvantaged and at-risk individuals in the Cessnock local government area in 2021, and the initiative has progressed significantly since then, now offering both breakfast and lunch services.

The volunteer-run project serves a complete breakfast and a nutritious three-course lunch plus tea, coffee and soft drinks, every Wednesday, with breakfast from 8.30am-10am and lunch from 10.30am-1pm.

The week prior to Christmas, the club extended a warm invitation to regular attendees for a special Christmas Lunch, complete with decorated tables, adding a festive touch to the occasion (pictured above).

Breakfast & Lunch by Rotary has received support from Cessnock Leagues Club’s ClubGRANTS Program, with grants of $6250 in 2022 and $7000 in 2023.

“We extend our heartfelt gratitude for the financial backing received from the ClubGrants Program, which plays a crucial role in making this initiative a reality,” Rotary Club of Cessnock secretary/treasurer Penny McNaughton said.

The ClubGRANTS program funds projects, services and programs that benefit the local community, such as welfare and social services, community development, health services and employment assistance.

Cessnock Leagues Club president Bruce Wilson OAM said the club is proud to support the local community by providing funding for projects like Breakfast & Lunch by Rotary, especially during the current cost-of-living crisis.

“It’s no doubt that most of us have experienced the challenging economic times we are living in with increases in the household budget in many forms,” Mr Wilson said.

“Having said this, many of our charities are also feeling the pinch as they struggle to keep up their commitment to those in need. It’s here that clubs like ours can help out.”

The Cessnock LGA 2024 ClubGRANTS program is now open, closing May 31. Charities and organisations that deliver community welfare and social services in the Cessnock LGA are welcome to apply. Find out more at