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More Meals for Open Door



Stacey Ward, Coordinator, SNC Open Door
Caption: Stacey Ward, Coordinator, SNC Open Door.

A Hunter Valley Operations (HVO) community grant will help Singleton Neighbourhood Centre to continue to provide a free, nutritious meal to a growing number of local people in need. The grant is one of eight to support community and environmental projects by Upper Hunter and Lower Hunter not for profit community groups.

Singleton Neighbourhood Centre (SNC) Manager Judy Mitchell said the funding will help it continue to provide around 60 free cooked meals, four days a week, through its OpenDoor@SNC program. Judy said demand for the service has increased in the last six months, while food donations had decreased. In February this year 728 meals were cooked, compared to 564 in February last year.

“More people are seeking help, including people who have never come to us for support before,” Judy said.

“We give people breakfast and then offer a cooked meal that they can eat at the centre or take home. For many clients this is their only hot cooked meal for the day.

“Many of our clients have a mental health issue or a physical disability. But an increasing number of older people and families are accessing our centre as cost of living pressures make it a struggle to make ends meet.

“Our OpenDoor@SNC program and other services also bring people together. Eating a meal with others is often some client’s only social outlet. While they are here, we can link them with support services to increase their independence, resilience and ability to interact, to benefit their physical and mental wellbeing.”

HVO Environment and Community Manager Andrew Speechly said the grant will help to provide another 5,000 meals.

Andrew said the grants program is one of the ways the local mine seeks to support the local community. He said it was great to be able to help the Neighbourhood Centre and its volunteers again. A 2018 HVO grant enabled for paving of an outdoor area.

“This grant round we are also helping to improve kids’ physical activity, equip community members with skills to help those struggling with their mental health, enable income opportunities for people with a disability, and community access to sporting and recreation activities,” Andrew said.  

“As well as providing local jobs and support for local businesses, we want to support local initiatives that make our community a better place for people to live and work.

“We have been part of the community for more than 70 years, and this is about giving back in a practical way to community groups that often struggle to attract funding for smaller scale projects.

“HVO has provided more than $380,000 in funding to 90 projects since 2018. This is in addition to its other partnerships, sponsorships and workplace giving programs.”

Round 1, 2023 HVO Community Grants recipients:

Aberdeen Preschool – expanding family networking area
Singleton Heights Preschool – improving student physical development program Singleton Neighbourhood Centre – Food Program
Kurri Minor Rugby League – safety and training equipment
Muswellbrook Netball Association – new uniforms
Novaskill – Mental Health First Aid Training for Singleton residents
Singleton Mountain Bike Club – race timing equipment
Witmore – new bins and shirts for the Community and Housing Recycling Crew

To find out more visit or email

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