Tenterfield Memorial Hall crew feeds hundreds of firefighters

This happy crew of volunteers rotating through Tenterfield Memorial Hall are keeping firefighters and evacuees well-fed.
This happy crew of volunteers rotating through Tenterfield Memorial Hall are keeping firefighters and evacuees well-fed.

Firefighters and support crews are travelling in from across the state to help contain Tenterfield bushfires, and they and shire residents displaced by the fires are finding solace at the huge volunteer effort happening at Tenterfield Memorial Hall.

In addition to operating as an evacuation centre, the hall kitchen manned by a team of rotating volunteers is producing hundreds of meals a day. The meals are being consumed not only onsite but also packaged up to be delivered by the Salvation Army's Joel Soper to those on the firefront.

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One volunteer commented on how well the operation is being managed, with Wendy Roots, Mandy Craig and Bianca Wicks at the helm.

The logistical effort of feeding hundreds of firefighters each day is being well-managed by Mandy Craig, Wendy Roots and Bianca Wicks.

The logistical effort of feeding hundreds of firefighters each day is being well-managed by Mandy Craig, Wendy Roots and Bianca Wicks.

Like most of the volunteers Mrs Roots also has other responsibilities to juggle, in her case Taylor's Cafe in town. She said she opens the shop, then comes down to the hall to organise sandwiches and preparation for meals, then returns to work at the shop.

She may get three or four hours sleep, if she's lucky, and does it all over again. But she's happy to be doing her bit (and then some) for the firefighters.

In addition to breakfast and dinner, the volunteers packed food parcels to be delivered to the frontline during the day.

In addition to breakfast and dinner, the volunteers packed food parcels to be delivered to the frontline during the day.

The organisers are being assisted by volunteers who have just come along to the hall, ready to do whatever task needs doing. They've been helped by students who have been packing up the snack bags distributed to firefighters from the Fire Control Centre in Francis Street at the beginning of each day.

Those on the receiving end have expressed their gratitude. A crew from Port Stephens, who left for home on Wednesday after their five-day stint, thanked the volunteers.

"They've waited on us hand-and-foot," Simone Taylor said.

"We can't thank them enough. The kids helping have been absolutely amazing as well."

Port Stephens RFS volunteers Sean Camilleri, Andrew Slade and Simone Taylor were impressed with the level of support they found in Tenterfield.

Port Stephens RFS volunteers Sean Camilleri, Andrew Slade and Simone Taylor were impressed with the level of support they found in Tenterfield.