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Woolworths to launch drought appeal

  • Posted on Monday 30th, September 2019.

Supermarket company, Woolworths, is partnering with Australian charities to launch a drought appeal to help support communities that are continuing to experience some of the worst and prolonged drought conditions on record.

The Salvation Army, Rural Aid, Foodbank and Lifeline are set to benefit from the S.T.A.N.D (Support Through Australian Natural Disasters) Drought Action Appeal, ensuring they can continue their work in supporting drought impacted rural and regional communities.

The Appeal will help fund a variety of programs undertaken by the organisations including: financial support for household and living expenses; on-farm support such as stock feed for farmers in drought declared areas; additional counsellors in regional areas in recognition of the significant mental health toll the drought is having; and addressing food insecurity in drought impacted areas.

“Woolworths are in the heart of every community, including drought-impacted regions,” said Woolworths Supermarkets Managing Director, Claire Peters.

“Every day we hear about the worsening situation in these regions from our local team members and we want to do more to support those impacted by drought.

“Last year during the drought action appeal, our financial commitment, along with the millions of dollars raised by customers and team, helped our partner Rural Aid supply stock feed, counsellors and financial assistance to farmers in drought impacted regions.

“This year our Appeal will provide support to our partners The Salvation Army, Rural Aid, Foodbank and Lifeline. They all play a vital role in helping alleviate the pressure of the drought, not only at the farm gate, but across the wider communities in which those farms operate,” she said.

“It’s no secret that families in rural and remote areas across Australia are doing it incredibly tough and that drought is a multifaceted issue,” said Salvation Army Chief Secretary Colonel, Mark Campbell.

“We appreciate that communities don’t necessarily want a hand-out, but they want a hand-up to be able to support them to ensure their communities remain as vibrant as they should be.

“We stand in support, together with other charities in supporting drought impacted communities, with money raised helping us provide emotional support and financial relief to those affected who are struggling to pay everyday bills, including basics such as food, petrol and utilities,” he said.

“We were overwhelmed with the support and generosity shown by Woolworths customers and team in raising funds via our Buy a Bale programme in 2018,” said Rural Aid CEO, Charles Alder.

“The millions of dollars raised has helped us provide much needed relief to farmers in drought impacted communities.

“The dire projection of drought is not letting up and we are yet to see the worst of its impact. We are very conscious that it will be a prolonged state of crisis in rural and regional areas across Australia and as such raising funds to be able to continue to deliver our support to those in need is essential.

“Further to providing on-farm support to farmers, Rural Aid offers financial assistance and mental health counselling to help keep the community spirit alive and support a positive mindset through these tough times,” he said.

“Food insecurity in Australia is already at an all time high and unfortunately it is only further exacerbated by the drought,” said Foodbank CEO, Brianna Casey.

“We’re determined to do all we can to end hunger, ensuring no Aussie child, family or individual is left with the uncertainty and stress of sourcing their next meal,” she said. “Money raised as part of this Appeal will help us continue this work in regional areas.”

“While people in rural and regional Australia are known for being down-to-earth, practical and resilient, it’s important for them to know that help is available and for them to access that help,” said Lifeline CEO, Colin Seery.

“Funds raised by this Appeal will enable more Lifeline skilled trainers to support drought impacted communities to better recognise and respond to signs of mental health concerns and provide conversations that could offer hope,” he said.

In other news, Woolworths brewed its first circular economy craft beer to support a food relief supply chain.

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