The Doing it for our Farmers volunteers are welcoming about 10 families per week into their “supermarket without the checkout” – but are on tenterhooks as they wait to finalise a new venue.
The drought-time helpers have also been liaising with bigger non-profit drought groups to see people with stock delivered hay, organiser Sue-Ellen Wilkin said.
And they now even have the voluntary services of an accountant, on forms for government help.
Mrs Wilkin said the group was “hoping to have news” soon about their next home, after occupying the former Carpet Court in recent months during the building’s sale settlement period.
The volunteers were still doing grocery hamper deliveries to rural addresses, but their main work now was receiving “shoppers” – anyone affected by drought.
“We have a variety of people come in, the whole range – we have pig farmers, chook farmers … We haven’t had a real lot of crop growers, but they’re quite eligible too, because they’re not getting any income from lack of crops.
“We would like to see some farm contractors – they’re affected [by drought], too.”
Accountant and Toowoomba area resident Wyn Trost, a former Tamworth woman, has been spending time in the city to help with freight subsidy or Farm Household Allowance forms.
“I’ve spoken to and helped probably between 30 and 40 people – and that’s face-to-face, and then more on the phone,” Ms Trost said.
“Most farmers, they know how to raise cattle, how to raise sheep, they know cropping – but as far as a computer goes and what Centrelink want them to do, that’s where I come in … it’s not easy.”
Mrs Wilkin said she wanted to stress that Doing it for our Farmers was not about charity – it was a way to say “thank you” to farmers in a practical way during a hard time.
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