A boost for Council’s financial assistance budget

Wagga Wagga City Council has agreed to allocate the remaining funds from a pandemic Community Support Program to its financial assistance budget.

On 14 April 2020, a Mayoral Minute was supported to establish a budget of $10000 towards a program to support food security for those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic closedown period.

Council’s General Manager Peter Thompson the funds were for the purchase of food and supplies to cook meals.

“The purpose was for Council to work in partnership with relevant agencies for the delivery of the community initiative,” Mr Thompson said.

“In addition, Anglicare provided $5000 to go towards the cost of purchasing food for Carevan to prepare meals.

“Our staff who couldn’t work in libraries, and museums and Civic Theatre due to the closedown were made available to help prepare meals for people, because the voluntary labour force in the city are often retirees and they were at special risk from COVID.”

Woman standing next to trolley stacked with pre-prepared meals in plastic cartons, with industrial fridge in background
HELPING HANDS: Liz Cox, Executive Assistant to the Mayor, was among Council staff who provided support to Wagga’s Carevan, at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Out of the program’s total budget of $15000, there was a remaining amount of almost $7862.

At its meeting on Monday night (12 October 2020), Council endorsed a recommendation to allocate those funds to its financial assistance budget, rather than putting it into general revenue.

“Under this program, people write to us and request Council’s support for various activities,” Mr Thompson said.

“It can be fee waivers for events or support for community events. They’re fairly modest sums and Councillors sit on in determining how we award the funds.”

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