Veggie boxes and care packs bound for Upper Hunter farmers

FOOD DRIVE: Terry Kavanagh and Tony Milburn with some of the fresh food boxes.
FOOD DRIVE: Terry Kavanagh and Tony Milburn with some of the fresh food boxes.

There’s nothing like the taste of fresh vegetables, especially when you’re battling a drought.

That’s why 40 boxes of mixed vegetables – straight from Maitland farms – will make their way to the desolate Upper Hunter on Friday.

Each box has enough vegetables to feed a farming family for a fortnight. A carton of eggs and a jar of honey will also be included. 

The boxes will be dropped off at the pub in Gundy, near Scone, where the Country Women’s Association (CWA) will take over and distribute them to nearby properties. 

Upper Hunter farmers have been battling drought conditions since spring last year. Many have been forced to destock completely, while others are trying to keep core breeding stock alive.

Forty care packages from the East Maitland Kiwanis’ club will also tag along and provide a range of toiletries from shampoo and toilet paper to razors, shower gel, hand cream and deodorant. 

Slow Food Hunter Valley leader Amorelle Dempster said the supplies would help ease some of the pressures farming families were facing.

HELPING: Maitland Public School students helped Slow Food Hunter Valley volunteers to pack the boxes.

HELPING: Maitland Public School students helped Slow Food Hunter Valley volunteers to pack the boxes.

She said the unrelenting drought in the Upper Hunter was a serious concern and the people who help put food on our tables needed to be supported. 

“These farmers don’t have the water to spare to be able to grow their own vegetables and they would be missing the taste,” she said.

“It also shows them that other people care about the challenges they are facing and want to help them.

Our vegetables farmers here in the Lower Hunter have been fortunate to be near the river and receive rain which has helped their crops to grow. This is one part of the Hunter reaching out to help another part of the Hunter who is in need.

Kiwanis club president Noelene Milburn said Aldi in Maitland and Big W at Green Hills had donated a box full of toiletries. The club used its own funds to pay for the rest.

“We have about $2000 worth of toiletries going up there,” she said. The packs are full of things that people use every day.”

Want to help?

Here’s some of the ways you can help make a difference. Click here for more details.

Donate to Buy A Bale Hunter at buyabale.com.au/hunter to help buy hay, water and groceries for struggling farming families.

Use the #thebigdry Facebook frame like the Mercury to help raise awareness about the drought. 

Sign the NSW Drought Petition and help collect 10,000 signatures to achieve a parliamentary debate on drought support. Click here to register.

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