Selfless volunteers and generous donations have helped some of Wagga's charities cleanly navigate the minefield of surging costs that have struck this year.
Carevan manager Lynne Graham said this has only been possible because of the generosity of businesses and the Wagga community.
"We have Teys, Ezy Fresh Processing and Riverina Fresh who provide us with meat, vegetables and milk all free of charge and thankfully they have continued that even with the prices going up," she said.
"That has been a huge benefit to us and without them we probably wouldn't be able to continue giving out free meals, especially with the rising costs."
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Local green thumbs have also helped keep the bills down for Carevan by donating produce like pumpkins, zucchinis and spinach.
The generosity comes at a time when demand for the charity's meals is soaring, as residents themselves grapple with the rising cost of living pressures.
"The message I'm getting from the service providers who come in to pick up the frozen meals each week is that there is a big increase in demand," Ms Graham said.
"We are pushing right on the limit of our production each week to go out to the community and people keep asking me if we can spare an extra five or 10."
Despite many people feeling the toll of higher prices, the charity has recently had a surge of residents coming in and donating items for the homeless population at Wilks Park.
Meals on Wheels currently pay over $10,000 on electricity bills each year, most of which goes into powering the walk-in freezer used to store the food.
Julie Logan, the charity's manager, said she is anticipating that bill to get substantially larger when electricity prices are hiked later this year.
Alongside the bigger bill, one of the charity's meal providers is also upping their prices later this year, but Ms Logan is confident they can avoid increasing their prices.
"Our committee is really keen to absorb any costs we can," she said. "We have absorbed a lot of costs through COVID that we haven't passed on and we're really keen to do that as long as we can."
Ms Logan said the charity has been helped in its desire to not pass on costs to residents by the hard work of volunteers.
"Something which has really helped us keep our prices down is delivering our meals to residents through our volunteers," she said.
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