Anthony Hurle, the organiser of the weekly barbecues, previously said it was unfair for the volunteers to pay to provide a community service.
Anthony Hurle, the organiser of the weekly barbecues, previously said it was unfair for the volunteers to pay to provide a community service. Kevin Farmer

Toowoomba public comes to rescue of homeless barbecue

ORGANISERS of the homeless barbecue in Clewley Park have been left "gobsmacked" by the outpouring of public support in the wake of the food licence debacle.

Last week, The Chronicle detailed how volunteers of the Wilsonton Progress Association, the group behind the free Street Eats barbecue, had to pay hundreds of dollars to obtain a Food Licence after a chance visit from council.

Now the group have been inundated with offers of monetary support and food donations, the fundraising page on Facebook overstepping its target of $600 to cover the first food licence fee.

"The response was wonderful, it's the input from the community that keeps us running," facilitator Anthony Hurle said.

"I had a few private calls, and the fundraising page had a boost on Saturday afternoon, raising more than $700.

"$423 of that will go to the volunteer that paid for the licence and we will keep the rest for the second permit, to be paid for in August."

Director of Precinct Urban Planning Andrew Bullen was one of the residents who pledged to make a contribution. 

"We were touched by what the Wilsonton Progress Association were doing, providing this community service.

"While we understand that council must do their job, we thought there was an opportunity for us to help a good cause, so they could direct the funds to help feed the homeless.

"We know these groups aren't typically looking for a hand-out, there are a lot of volunteers who help and it's an essential service."

Mr Bullen said his company was interested in setting up a sponsorship agreement to cover the food licensing fees indefinitely, as well as providing a donation for necessities. 


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