LAKSHIMI and YASODA GIVING on MEAT FREE MONDAYS
The well known Macleay Island couple Lakshimi and Yasoda Papp are 'giving' back to the islands from an idea they learned from former famous Fab Four Beatle, Paul McCartney.
It is called Meat Free Mondays and it is about giving free meals every Monday at the Macleay Island Community Services Op Shop site in Southsea Terrace.
What started out as a simple idea, has grown into a mammoth exercise.
The couple are probably best known for the Multicultural Festival they successfully staged last year.
They also, for the past two years, have been providing special Never Alone Christmas Day lunches for those single or lonely on the islands at the Macleay Island Community Hall.
A Christmas in July function was also held last year.
"We were inspired by Paul McCartney from The Beatles who started Meat Free Mondays with his wife Linda.
"We started about 13 weeks ago with about 20 to 30 people.
"It now averages about 50 people each week, with the highest number 108 who turned up for our free meals," Yasoda told The Friendly Bay Islander.
Be Kind to your Buddy; Be Kind to your Animals; and Be Kind to your Planet are catch cries of the concept, along with Eat to your Heart's Content; Give As Your Heart Feels.
Yasoda says everyone is welcome.
"The response is amazing and everyone is most supportive."
Even a group of local musicians, called Island Time, turns up each week to provide some entertainment.
So how do they fund it?
It comes from donations.
Not everyone can afford to pay, but some do.
Others make donations and food for the meals is purchased and donated.
The couple have a registered food van for the preparation of meals, and there are some locals who help with the preparation and with the cleaning and washing up.
"The local Lions Club and Community Services help us out, too.
"We get enough to keep the weekly meals going and we purchase vegetables with the help of some local markets and suppliers," Yasoda added.
The Meat Free Mondays meals had a break over the Christmas-New Year period, but the Monday meal madness will start again on January 19.