Inverell residents have rallied together in support of drought-affected farmers around Bonshaw, as conditions north-east reach dire straits.
Around 150 food and water hampers from Life Foundations will be distributed at Inverell Shire Council’s community event at the Bonshaw CWA Hall on Friday.
Lynda Atkinson, of Life Foundations and Gwydir Group CWA, said concerns for Bonshaw were raised at a recent Rural Support Network Meeting.
“Bonshaw is about to run out of water. They’re doing it really, really tough and they’ve missed most of the rain,” she said.
Inverell Shire Council agreed to sponsor Friday’s event, while Life Foundations and The Inverell Pantry started collecting food donations to collate into hampers.
Rural Financial Counselling services will be available on the day, along with the Department of Human Services to discuss assistance packages and a council representative to talk water deliveries.
“The Inverell Pantry receives food donations through Foodbank NSW and they’ve donated a lot of items for farmers packs. Woolworth's have also donated some rice and the CWA have donated lots and lots of toys for the kids.”
The community event at Bonshaw CWA Hall will run from 10am until 3pm with an extended invitation to drought-affected farmers from Ashford, Wallangra, Texas, Atholwood and Yetman to also attend.
Lynda thanked Inverell Shire Council for sponsoring the day and agreeing to take out the 150 hampers, and CWA ladies who will take care of morning tea.
“Im a Delungra farmer and I know, even though people are harvesting, yields this year will be so low and if we do break the drought most of it will be kept for seed.
“They won’t be making any money out of it. Farmers are still having to sell cattle, buy water and sacrifice to get by,” she said.
Inverell Shire Council mayor Paul Harmon highlighted how wonderful it was to see local people volunteering their time to assist others.
He dropped into Life Foundations on Tuesday morning to thank the continuous stream of people taking time out of their day to pack the hampers before Friday.
“I’m forever amazed at the commitment of our community, it is very humbling, and today is a classic example of people coming together to assist others in need.
“It’s fantastic to see so many food hampers going out to rural families who are doing it tough,” Cr Harmon said.
Anglicare, Uniting Church, Local Land Services, Department of Primary Industries, Gwymac and Clenrac have also assisted in organising the event.
What: Community information day
Where: Bonshaw CWA Hall, Bruxner Highway
When: Friday, December 14 (10am-3pm)
Who: Farming families in the area