Buy a Bale Western campaign raises almost half a million dollars for farmers

Helping hand: Issac Delalande with some of the supplies that were taken to drought-stricken Coonabarabran farmers over the weekend.
Helping hand: Issac Delalande with some of the supplies that were taken to drought-stricken Coonabarabran farmers over the weekend.

Almost half a million dollars has flowed into the Buy A Bale Western NSW campaign in less than two months to help the region’s drought-stricken farmers. 

The demand for assistance continues to rise and the money is going out as quickly as it is coming in.

A $200,000 donation from Penrith Panthers and the Panthers Group on Friday, which is equivalent to about 1800 round bales of hay, will be used to buy more fodder to keep livestock alive. 

Buy A Bale founder Charles Alder said 100 new farmers were registering with the charity every week and most were asking for hay.

He said many were struggling to source fodder and the price kept going up, which put added pressure on families who were already on a shoestring budget.

“This is an amazing piece of generosity to our farmers who are doing it very tough in NSW,” Mr Alder said.

“The Australian spirit and clubs like the Panthers supporting the rural communities means a great deal to farmers. They are very grateful that people are thinking of them, contributing and supporting them.”

The campaign, which is a partnership between the Daily Liberal, Central Western Daily, Western Advocate, Western Magazine, Narromine News, Nyngan Observer, Wellington Times, Mudgee Guardian, Lithgow Mercury, Cowra Guardian and charity Buy A Bale, started in June.

Farmers are grateful that people are contributing and supporting them.

Charles Alder

It raises money to buy hay, water and groceries for farmers and their families. 

Help with food shopping is given through a gift card at the farmer’s local supermarket so the money goes back into the town’s economy. 

Mr Alder said conditions across western NSW were challenging and some farmers hadn’t seen a good season in several years. 

“I’ve just come back from Bathurst and saw firsthand what the farmers out there are going through and it’s quite distressing,” he said.

The overall fundraising campaign, called The Big Dry Drought Appeal, is a partnership between Fairfax Media, Macquarie Radio and Buy A Bale. It encompasses Buy A Bale campaigns in the Hunter, New England-North West, western NSW and southern NSW. There is also a campaign in Queensland. 

More than $1.7 million has flowed into the appeal since it started in in February and $1.1 million of that amount has already been spent. Donate: buyabale.com.au/westernnsw