Govt helps fuel our volunteers to counter cost

COFFS Coast volunteer groups will now find it easier to do their good work, with the Government pledging more than $6 million to help counter the rising cost of fuel.

Sawtell Meals on Wheels manager, Leanne Russell, said escalating fuel prices were a burden for the volunteer organisation.

“We give our volunteers fuel vouchers and once fuel hit $1.60 a litre, we've had to increase how much we give them,” Ms Russell said.

“When you look at the vouchers that come back, we're spending $900 to $1000 a month on fuel, so it is a struggle.”

Ms Russell said volunteers who once turned down the offer of vouchers are now accepting them due to the rising cost of fuel.

National Seniors Australia chief executive, Michael O'Neill, said high fuel prices can adversely affect people who give back to the community.

But relief is in sight, with the State Government allocating an extra $6.7 million in funding to be paid straight to volunteer groups.

NSW has 1.7 million volunteers, including 32,000 who work for Meals on Wheels delivering 4.5 million meals a year.

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