LOCALS are being called on to help farmers battling the worst drought in a century.
South Gippsland Lions clubs and the Fish Creek based charity ‘Truckin’ Feed a Farmer’ are calling for donations to help those in drought affected areas in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.
‘Truckin’ Feed a Farmer’ organiser Jess Bright said her motivation for wanting to help were simple.nn“We were just trying to do our bit, because if we were in this situation I’m pretty sure other people would do the same thing,” she said.
Donations of toiletries, non-perishable food (no glass), general household items and pet supplies are welcome, she said. ‘Truckin’ Feed a Farmer’ will host a fundraiser barbecue on Friday, October 9 from 5.30pm.
Jess said Evans Petroleum were lending a trailer for the delivery of collected goods, with Dorlings Transport offering a prime mover.
Meeniyan IGA has been working hard to bolster stocks for the charity. Supermarket manager Kaelena Shervell believes it’s “just heartbreaking what the farmers are going through in drought affected areas”.
“I was thinking about doing something when Jess came along. It was great to go through a locally operated organisation, rather than a centralised one,” she said.
“People are starting to get onboard. Our IGA has filled up a ute trailer with stock. It was all perfect stock, but it was stuff that wasn’t working for our little store. We thought, let’s put it to good use. “Every little bit counts.”
The Lions are calling for food donations: be they canned, packaged, close to use by date items, home-made biscuits or citrus fruits. Bunches of flowers are also being sought just prior to the delivery date, with proteas, luecospernums and banksias top of the list of suggestions.
Rhonda Bland from the Toora Lions Club said that people who were planning to do some spring cleaning should also think about donating to the cause.
“Affected families might appreciate a delivery of Christmas gifts in the form of soft toys, games or unwanted gifts in the form of a box of talcs or perfumes, books or sheets and towels, whatever,” Toora Lions Club member Rhonda Bland said.
“Intended Christmas gifts should remain unwrapped.” Rhonda asked people to consider the question, “If you were in this crisis, what would put a smile on your face?”
“Hopefully, good rains might ease the strain on affected families. But it takes a long, long time to recover from such a crisis,” she said.
“You might even have an oversupply of preserves in your pantry, but preserves need to have the date made and ingredient labels displayed on the jars.”
‘Need for Feed’ is also accepting Visa gift cards, which can be purchased from your local post office. If local businesses, individuals, clubs and societies wish to make donations in the form of pre-paid Visa gift cards. These can be left with Rebecca at Manna Gum Community House in Foster between 10am and 3pm, from Monday to Thursday.
What’s collected in the ‘Need For Feed’ charity drive will be delivered by the Inverloch Lions Club to farmers in drought affected areas from October 26.
Rhonda said people, clubs and societies might also consider cooking “treats” for the collection. She was also keen to encourage those donating – whether individuals or groups – to write a personal note to attach to their donation.
There are a number of collection drop off points for people wanting to donate, with the Lions’ enlisting the Fish Creek Supermarket and Newsagency, Foster IGA, Foster Foodworks, Toora Supermarket, Welshpool Op Shop and Yanakie General Store.
‘Truckin’ Feed a Farmer’ collection drop off points can be found at Brown Wigg Meeniyan, Meeniyan IGA, Meeniyan Service Station, Meeniyan Pharmacy, Essential Body Basics Foster, Meeniyan Primary School, Meeniyan Preschool, Koonwarra Sale Yards and Leongatha Splash.
Tax deductible donations can be made via the ‘Need For Feed’ website or paid via:
- Account name: Need For Feed