AgQuip 2018: Farmers head to Salvation Army for drought assistance

HERE TO HELP: Salvation Army rural chaplain Di Lawson at AgQuip on Wednesday. Photo: Peter Hardin
HERE TO HELP: Salvation Army rural chaplain Di Lawson at AgQuip on Wednesday. Photo: Peter Hardin

SHOW them the farmers and the Salvation Army will give out the money.

Primed with hot tea and a welcoming smile, volunteers connected with farming families at AgQuip on Wednesday to sign them up for financial help then and there.

Salvation Army rural chaplain Di Lawson said things are desperate enough that more farmers are coming to her for help.

“Yes they are proud people and they’ve never asked for assistance before but this time the drought is dragging on so long and their feed bills have gone so high that they need a hand up,” she said.

“We are finding that people are reaching out where they haven’t before.”

At AgQuip, the Salvation Army is can provide assistance with household payments, gift cards for groceries and organise money to be put into accounts.

Money Care is working out of the same tent to assist those that are struggling with day-to-day bills to enter into hardship agreements with utility companies.

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And there are people volunteering to help farmers budget their funds during dry times.

If that’s not enough, Gunnedah’s local church ministers Gaye and Richard Day, along with the Salvation Army volunteers are happy to lend a shoulder to cry on and a great conversation.

Mrs Lawson said farmers shouldn’t feel embarrassed to ask for help.

“We are here to help, but if you don’t want to do it in a public venue we’ve got the assistance phone line and online applications you can do in the privacy of your own home,” she said.

“For those that are thinking there are others worse off than them, the public have been very generous in donating funds and we want to make sure they go out to those who need them.

“At the end of this it’s going to rain, we’ll have good seasons in the future and they can pay it forward at the end – this is the time to receive.”

The Salvation Army can be reached 24/7 on 02 87578088, or online at salvos.org.au/drought.

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