The drought is so bad some farming families are being forced to go without fresh fruit and vegetables.
It's a luxury they simply cannot afford.
Most of their money is being spent on keeping their farm afloat and feeding hungry livestock. That has left them with a shoestring grocery budget that only covers staple items like bread and pasta.
The Mercury knows of one farming family who has not eaten fresh vegetables this year.
It's a shocking reality and a sign of just how dire the situation has become.
A conversation between The Mercury, Slow Food Hunter Valley and We Care Road Trip on Friday has led to a plan to help.
Related: Drought boxes giving hope
Fresh food from Maitland farms - and backyards, will travel to bone dry Coonabarabran on Saturday with the We Care Road Trip.
It will then be distributed to the farming families who need it the most.
Farmers and backyard growers have jumped at the chance to help.
Slow Food Hunter Valley has already sourced 100 pumpkins, 50 cabbages and 50 cauliflowers.
About 10 Singleton growers have already donated food and citrus from their own gardens. Resident Michelle Higgins is collecting the food this week and bringing it to Maitland on Friday.
Anyone with excess produce is urged to drop it into Reader's Cafe and Larder alongside East Maitland Library by 9.30am on Friday.
"This bus trip is already going to Coonabarabran so it makes sense that we send the food with them. It's an overnight trip so there won't be much luggage and that leaves plenty of room for the food," Slow Food Hunter Valley Earth Market Maitland chairwoman Amorelle Dempster said.
Did you see all the food the city collected for the Upper Hunter farmers last week?
Slow Food Hunter Valley leader Anne Kelly, and a group of volunteers, will harvest the pumpkins from Matthew Dennis' farm at East Maitland on Friday morning.
We Care Road Trip organiser Anne-Marie Best will pick up the pumpkins from the farm and pack them on the bus.
"I'm glad we talked about it on Friday because we've created this wonderful way to help," Ms Dempster said.
"It's one of those nice things that we can do. It's like what we've been doing for the Upper Hunter farmers in Gundy for some time and now we can give another community some hope from it as well."
Ms Best said she was happy to help the fresh food find its way to the town.
"What Slow Food are doing with their drought-relief is amazing. We are more than happy to be able to help them and take the trailer-load out there," she said.
There are still five seats available on the overnight bus trip. Tickets are $100 each, which is paid in the form of a donation to Need For Feed Disaster Relief.
The bus leaves Broadmeadow on Saturday morning and travels to Coonabarabran through several drought-stricken towns. There are stops along the way and a special dinner on Saturday night. On Sunday there is three hours of shopping time before the bus makes its way back to Newcastle.
To book phone Anne-Marie Best on 0402 133 145 or search We Care Road Trip on Facebook.