Foodbank drops off hampers to help district farmers

Relief charity Foodbank were in town on Thursday to drop off 120 hampers for local farmers.

Two pallets of boxes containing items such as breakfast cereal, pasta and sauces, canned food, biscuits, tea, coffee and sugar were delivered to Anglicare's Georgie's Pantry just in time for Farmers Friday.

Foodbank is the largest food relief charity in Australia and this month Foodbank NSW & ACT will reach the 150 million meals milestone by giving out hampers to regional farming communities in crisis across the state.

Foodbank Communications Officer Janene Manwaring said it's not a milestone the organisation wanted to reach.

"We want farmers to know that we will be there to support them until the rains come," she said.

"I really believe as Australians we need to be responsible in protecting our farming future.

"We have a responsibility to stop corporations from taking over what is currently generational farming communities."

Foodbank School Breakfast 4 Health & Agencies Coordinator Adam Loftus said he is hearing from town to town that most farmers are in a place where they have nothing left.

"We are doing what we can because we know how bad it is out here," he said.

"A lady said to us yesterday 'thanks for thinking of us because we feel forgotten'."

Janene said although Foodbank wants to be with our farming communities for the long haul it can't be done without donations.

"We are really pleading to the community for that support," she said.

For one local farming family, Farmers Friday at Georgie's Pantry isn't only about the food but networking with others in the same situation.

"It's the company also when you come in, talking to other people and finding out how they are managing," a family member said.

"You might pick up some information about a hay drop or a feed drop or a charity helping out.

"And it's a break from the farm, it gets pretty monotonous. All your doing is every day getting up, feeding stock, watching the bank balance get lower and lower and watching the clouds just float away."

The farmer said all those who use the service are so appreciative.

"With this relentless drought it's gotten to the stage where everybody has run out of money, we've run out of feed for our stock and now heading into summer we are going to run out of water too," she said.

"The savings that we make by coming to Georgie's Panty can help with the bill for the feed or just with every day farm expenses.

"The food hampers take some of the pressure off, it's just fantastic."

The family has been on their farm for 140 years.

"I'm 62 and this is the worst I've seen in my lifetime," the farmer said.

"In the past we've been able to send our stock to other parts of the state for agistment but there is nowhere to send them because the whole state is in drought.

"We have down stocked as much as we can, we made the decision earlier on to keep our core breeding stock and just hope that the drought breaks because getting back into it afterwards is just going to be an astronomical cost."

To support Foodbank visit foodbank.org.au

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