Australia’s drought-stricken farmers, and our food bowl, need us now more than ever.
The paddocks across most of New South Wales still resemble a desert. Water resources are dry or drying up and a lot of farming families are struggling to pay the bills and put food on their tables.
This time last year there was a groundswell of support for farmers and many fundraisers were being held in across the Hunter, but drought charities are now reporting a fall in donations and public awareness.
Chameleon Play Cafe in Cessnock was the first (and until earlier this week, the only) business in the Lower Hunter to pledge its support for this year’s Parma for a Farmer campaign.
The campaign runs throughout August, supporting Rural Aid and its Buy A Bale campaign.
The Cessnock cafe participated in last year’s Parma for a Farmer initiative and owners Kyle and Jacinta Woodward are proud to be lending their support again.
The cafe will donate $5 from each parmigiana sold on the night of Friday, August 23. It also has a donation tin on its counter.
Mr Woodward said it was an easy way for the community to support farmers in during these tough times.
Mr Woodward said the campaign also helped children to learn where their food comes from.
“You hear of some children who think apples come from Coles,” he said, adding that the cafe has recently changed milk suppliers to a single-origin dairy.
Rural Aid CEO Charles Alder said the conditions livestock farmers were facing were so intense that the charity would need to spend about $22 million on hay and transport between now and June next year.
With no rain on the horizon – and a hot summer predicted, the conditions are expected to deteriorate further in the coming months.
“Across vast areas of NSW 12 months on our farmers are no better off – there is still a shortage of fodder, a lack of water and we need to help them again,” Mr Alder said.
“If you can share a dollar or two from every chicken parmigiana sold we can buy more hay and truck more hay to farmers who are in need, including in the Hunter.”
Businesses can register for free online. Go to www.parmaforafarmer.com.au for more information.
Source: Cessnock Advertiser