Kids jump in to help drought-stricken farmers out
WALGETT in the state's far west finally got a dump of rain last week, perhaps just enough to keep their farmers inches ahead of the great drought's jaws.
The district is a traditional destination for Christmas hampers from local Anne Thompson's long-running Food for Farmers Christmas Appeal, which sends Christmas hampers to drought-stricken farmers.
This year, one local school which had a great year donating packages in 2014 is doing it again - and encouraging other schools to join in.
The 250 students at Wollongbar Public School will spend the next week finding food from home before Ms Thompson picks the donations up next Friday.
Getting involved was the idea of teacher Nadine Toniello, who said it was a simple way to make a difference.
"Each classroom has a box in their room and the kids just bring something in and put it in the box," she said.
"If everyone brings in one food item, that's 250 things that are going out to people in need.
"It doesn't take much, we put a blurb in the newsletter, we run it across one week, the box just goes in the classroom, and then Anne comes and collects it.
"If every school in the area did something similar, that would make a huge difference. She'd need another truck, hopefully. That would be nice."
Ms Thompson said The Channon Public School and Byron Bay Public School were also involved, although having a few more onboard would make a huge difference.
"We need to help them out and send them a little bit of Christmas cheer," she said of the farmers' plight. "They're so isolated - it's depressing out there.
"They feel like no one knows they are there. Then they get their boxes and it boosts their morale - they feel so touched by it."
She said she teared up when seeing the kids present their boxes last year.
"It's so touching."
Schools willing to contribute to the appeal, which ends on November 30, can contact Anne Thompson on 0412 910 523, or visit the appeal's Facebook page, Food for Farmers Christmas Appeal.
Donation locations for Food for Farmers Christmas Appeal
- Lismore Square, drop-off box outside Woolworths
- Lismore Environment Centre, Transit Centre on Molesworth St
- Nimbin Environment Centre
- Clunes Auto Centre
- Wallace's, River St
- Ballina Bait and Fuel, River St
- West Ballina Medical Centre
- Surfit Gym
- CWA Shop
- Anglican op-shop, Kingsley St
- Anglican op-shop
- 21st Century Real Estate
- Casino Environment Centre
- Evans Head Bowling Club
Deadline is November 30.