POT LUCK: Baked Relief Bangalow co-organiser Jody Vassallo in her kitchen helping to prepare meals for those affected by the recent floods.
POT LUCK: Baked Relief Bangalow co-organiser Jody Vassallo in her kitchen helping to prepare meals for those affected by the recent floods. Marc Stapelberg

Band of cooks fed Lismore

A SMALL band of cooks from Bangalow have been working tirelessly in the background to keep flood affected people in Lismore fed.

After seeing the devastation caused to people's homes, Jody Vassallo of Bangaow wondered what she could do help.

"I knew people would be without their homes and kitchens, and thought 'I can cook, I have a kitchen, I can do that',” she said.

With the help of Brisbane-based Baked Relief, set up after the 2011 Brisbane flood, Ms Vassallo set up Facebook site Baked Relief Bangalow and put a call out to the people of Bangalow, and the help came pouring in.

The donations of money, ingredients, baking skills and time have helped to feed countless people in flood-affected areas, with up to 200 meals a day delivered, sometimes twice a day.

Through Facebook she gathered 400 members to help supply, bake and distribute the goods.

Ms Vassallo said the contributions by the Bangalow community "were just unbelieveable”.

Once the goods arrived in Lismore, Lorraine Tasker and her sidekick Lismore's Lily Manton swung into action.

Ms Tasker said she could not have survived without the stream of stews, soups and baked goods delivered to the town by Baked Relief Bangalow.

Her team have manned aid stalls outside Lincraft and the at the Lismore Railway Station, helping to get the meals out to people who desperately needed it.

After the flood, homes in Lismore were left without electricity, and appliances and utensils were destroyed.

Some people lost everything, leaving them unable to make meals.

They needed someone to hold out their hand and offer some help, and Ms Tasker was one of the many volunteers to respond.

She co-ordinated the drop-off point in Lismore for the Baked Relief goods, then organised for the food to be delivered to people's homes.

As other services starting to re-open, and Helping Hands now closing, Ms Tasker is looking for a drop-off point for the food in Lismore, and said people still needed help.

"A lot of volunteers have helped get this town back on it's feet, feeding people is important.

"There is still a great need for it.

"Some people still haven't replaced cooking equipment.”



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