The recent closing of the Reaching Out Foundation marks a milestone in one of the Bega Valley's most successful community initiatives.
Based in Pambula, social café, Pearls Place Community Inc has been operating as an independent, incorporated, registered charity for over four years, providing a free, weekly lunch to those in need.
Although the Reaching Out Foundation may have closed, Pearls Place, one of the foundation's great legacies, is continuing and is busier than ever, president Louise Maud said.
On Wednesday it was business as usual as almost 40 people turned up to enjoy lunch together in a congenial and inclusive environment.
"Last week we had 44 and generally we're seeing between 35 and 46 people," Ms Maud said.
"We're continuing to get community donations and bread and cakes from Tura Beach Woolworths," she said.
"Meat is the big thing but because of the community donations we're able to buy that."
Also the Pambula-Merimbula CWA members are bringing in a dessert every other week and two large bread and butter puddings had arrived in time for lunch.
"On behalf of all the Pearls Place volunteers I wish to congratulate Reaching Out Foundation for their achievements over the past five years. We thank and acknowledge the contribution they made initiating and helping to establish Pearls Place Community Inc in 2015.
"We are also very grateful for the generous support we continue to receive from many local businesses, organisations and community members. This on-going support allows us to provide free, nourishing meals to many community members who are disadvantaged by low income, social isolation or mental ill health.
"Our guests come to Pearls for friendship, social interaction and a warm welcome from our wonderful volunteers.We are confident that we will continue to provide a valuable community service for many years to come", she added.
Pearls Place operates from the Masonic Centre, corner of Toalla and Monaro Streets in Pambula, every Wednesday from 12 noon to 1pm. Everyone is welcome. The RSL courtesy bus picks up guests who are elderly or unable to drive. Lunch is free and donations are always welcome. For further information check the website www.pearlsplace.info or Facebook page.