Need for Feed Disaster Relief provides NSW drought support

DONATIONS: Need for Feed organiser Graham Cockerell has been delivering hay to farmers in need. Photo: Rob Gunstone.
DONATIONS: Need for Feed organiser Graham Cockerell has been delivering hay to farmers in need. Photo: Rob Gunstone.

Thanks to the efforts of a group of volunteers, hundreds of farmers across central west NSW were provided much needed drought aid in 2018 and with the dry not letting up that support is continuing.

Approximately 935 farmers central west farmers were given an average of 10 to 12 hay bales each thanks to the Need for Feed Disaster Relief.

Need for Feed is a project of the Lions Club and founder Graham Cockerell said the efforts to provide drought aid are still continuing.

"We haven't stopped," he said.

The volunteers from Need for Feed Disaster Relief provided big hay runs across the region in 2018, including one on Australia Day where 47 road trains from Western Australia and 20 trucks form Victoria transport the hay.

"And September 1 (Father's Day) we had about 70 trucks through that (central west) district. In between that we've had smaller hay runs...," Mr Cockerell explained.

"A lot of that hay has been purchased, some donated."

Mr Cockerell said he was proud of all the Need for Feed volunteers and their efforts.

"The hay that has ended up in that area has come from all six states... it's amazing. It really is," he said.

"I think the biggest thing, with our team, is we're all volunteers."

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Recent rainfalls have thankfully taken some pressure off the project, Mr Cockerell said.

"We've been able to ease off in some areas that have had good rain," he explained.

"But having said that you've still got areas that hardly had any rain in that whole time."

Their next hay run will be around Anzac Day when they deliver much needed support around the Broken Hill area.

"They're still in intense drought and have been that whole time," Mr Cockerell said.

Unfortunately the drought has still not broken, and farmers across NSW are still doing it tough.

At one stage the Need for Feed project was dealing with approximately 3500 requests for assistance.

"If farmers want to register for assistance they can register through the website... we can't promise them everything but we'll do our best to get there," Mr Cockerell said.

To donate, or to register for help please visit www.needforfeed.org