More than 150 people attended the Need For Feed’s northern Victoria dinner at Cobram Harness Racing Club on Sunday after a group of volunteers completed a northern Victoria and southern NSW hay run.
A total of 115 farms across about 14000 square kilometres received bales of hay from the run, each farm receiving 10 bales on average with 782 bales moved on Sunday alone — 1340 bales in total.
Need For Feed northern Victoria co-ordinator and Barooga Lions Club member Linda Ryder said with the lack of rainfall, coupled with high water and feed prices, farmers locally were doing it tough.
‘‘The reason behind the night was just to get everyone together, sit down and have a good dinner and chat,’’ she said.
‘‘This drought affects everyone — our farmers and our local businesses.’’
And the response to the Lions Clubs’ fundraising has been overwhelming from businesses and individuals who have donated non-perishable foods, pet food and money for hay and fuel vouchers.
Ms Ryder said while the truck drivers were unpaid, they did have the option to be reimbursed for fuel — however few have opted for that, meaning more money to be donated to struggling farmers.
‘‘We’ve even had some trucks do two runs over the weekend, it’s just phenomenal,’’ she said.
Dinner attendees heard from guest speakers John Harper, David Post, John Padman and the Kelly brothers provided the musical entertainment for the evening.
‘‘We’ve had businesses and milk processors donate goods to give away and four Lions Clubs — Strathmerton, Katamatite, Cobram and Barooga — have helped put on the event,’’ Ms Ryder said.
‘‘In the last two weeks we’ve delivered hay to the Queensland floods, the Victorian fires and to here, so it’s been a tad busy.’’
Need For Feed organisers said the food hampers were also proved popular, with each delivery of hay accompanied by a box or bag full of groceries.
●More needs to be done and people can donate what they could either online at needforfeed.org or non-perishable food items to the donation basket at Cobram IGA or by calling Ms Ryder on 0417 085 234.