Rural pubs are the heart of bushland communities, but it is the farmlands that are the lifeblood of these regions.
The relationship between the two can clearly be seen at the Tatts Hotel where publicans get to hear the stories of the devastating drought from their clientele firsthand.
In his pub, Tatts Hotel Licensee Scott Williams has been inundated with stories. Many of his clients are also Facebook friends. Among the incredible photos of dying animals in dry conditions seen while scrolling down his feed, Williams read a post from a fellow publican in Port Macquarie calling out for other pubs to join the Parma for a Farmer campaign, and he immediately hopped on board.
The concept uses the humble chicken parmigiana to help raise money for farmers. For every dish sold in August, Tatts will donate $1 to the Buy a Bale campaign. “We expect to raise around $1,000 and possibly more if diners decide they’d like to have a meal for a good cause,” said Owen Sutherland from the Tatts Hotel.
But $1,000 was not enough so the Tatts Hotel decided to match dollar raised in Parma for a Farmer with another $1 to help local farmers.
“We just wanted to take that extra step and we wanted to make sure that the money went to locals,” Sutherland said, adding that there will be more fundraising to come with other events that the Tatts Hotel has up its sleeve, including a raffle at the end of August.
“Farmers are struggling. You can see in their faces that they’re not as happy as they used to be. They are no longer full of life. That’s why we want to help them out.”
Not only is the Tatts Hotel raising money for farmers, it is raising money using the very produce that farmers helped bring to the table.
“We buy our produce locally with fruit and veggies from the shop across the road and meat from Burtenshaw gathered from farms around the region,” Mr Sutherland said.
“We need to support our local farmers because without their great produce we can’t produce the quality of meals we do put out.”
Diners won’t see a change in prices, and unless they are aware, they may not even notice that $2 from every parmigiana meal will go to help the very people that made sure the ingredients got to their table.
The farmers however, sure will notice the help.
To enjoy a meal as part of Parma for a Famer, head to the Tatts Hotel at 123 Byron Street, Inverell.
- The Inverell Jockey Club is hosting its Race Day fundraiser on August 11 (gates open at 11.30am).