5000 club to move to new home, become independent body

LUNCH: A large group of volunteers, including three chefs, volunteer at the 5000 Club. Photo: Dylan Burns
LUNCH: A large group of volunteers, including three chefs, volunteer at the 5000 Club. Photo: Dylan Burns

The 5000 Club, which provides weekly hot meals and a place to gather for the vulnerable, is becoming an independent and autonomous body as it readies to move to its new home.

The club, headed by Loretta Little, has run out of Daylesford's Stanbridge Hall every Friday since it began operating more than seven years ago.

Relying on food donations and volunteers to operate, the club provides a welcoming place for about 50 lonely, elderly and disadvantaged residents to gather each week, where they enjoy a free three-course hot meal and an opportunity to take home goods like clothing and books.

Ms Little said the club, which has 14 regular volunteers, has cooked and served approximately 12,600 meals - 4,300 litres of soup and 4,200 eggs - in its time.

"Our wonderful volunteers have been an essential part of our operation, and their in-kind contribution is valued at over $500,000 for the seven and a half years," Ms Little said.

"Our faithful followers have enjoyed the meals and the friendly, welcoming atmosphere, and will find that our new venue fulfils their expectations."

Ms Little said the support of the Anglican Parish of Daylesford and Reverend Neil Fitzgerald had allowed the club to continue for so many years but it was now embarking on a new iteration as an independent body that would continue to serve the community the same as it always had.

The final lunch at Stanbridge Hall will take place on Friday, May 3 before it moves to its new venue at Victoria Park.

The first lunch at the new venue is expected to be hosted on Friday, June 7.