Foodbank NSW & ACT hit the road in September with one aim, to distribute 5,000 hampers to drought stricken communities across the state.

The drought hamper rollout also ticked over our 150 million meal milestone.  Foodbank NSW & ACT CEO Gerry Andersen said it’s not a milestone the organisation wanted to reach.

“We are in the worst drought in history. We understand it’s not going to be fixed in the short term, even if it rained tomorrow,” he said.

In conjunction with The Country Women’s Association and other charity partners, Foodbank were able to distribute hampers throughout the Central West and the Northern parts of the state.

Natalie Quince from Anglicare in Parkes says with the whole of the Central West in drought, most farmers are beyond breaking point. *

“We’ve had some farmers tell us that they have been eating mandarins off their tree for the last 3 days because that’s pretty much all that they had left to eat.”  

The five thousand hampers contained premium staples such as breakfast cereal, milk, rice, pasta and sauces, canned meals, tea and coffee.

With no end to the drought in sight, Mr Andersen is urging people to continue to partner with Foodbank in the fight against hunger.

“We’re in this for the long haul with our farming communities but we couldn’t do this without the support of our donors and volunteers who help fund and pack what we give out to those that need it every single day,” Mr Andersen said.

“And to the people who receive our hampers, we understand the mental anguish.  Don’t give up, if you need some help, put your hand up, because there are a lot of people who are prepared to help.”

Mr Andersen says the personal feedback and thank you letters coming in have been heartfelt.  Many are 4 and 5 generation farming families who have been on the land for more than 100 years.

“Your generosity was overwhelming and the care behind that amazing box of goodies actually made me cry. In tough times like this the smallest things can make an enormous difference. The fact people are concerned and really care is good for our souls,” said one farming family from Armidale.

“Our family is one of many who are finding the going tough and with no end of the drought in sight, we don’t know where we will end up.  We have never in our lives have had to accept help and we are embarrassed to have to now.  But we do have to survive and need to swallow our pride and be eternally grateful for what others can offer. Any help in the future would be gratefully accepted,” said another farming family from Scone.

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