Bank now ac­cept­ing do­na­tions for farm­ers

The Cobram Courier - - NEWS - By Lach­lan Durl­ing

Co­bram’s Com­mon­wealth Bank has been swamped with do­na­tions of ev­ery­day items to sup­port strug­gling farm­ers up north.

The branch is chock-full of toi­letries, socks, dog food, bot­tled wa­ter — you name it.

Both the Co­bram and Yar­ra­wonga Com­mon­wealth Bank branches are also ac­cept­ing cash do­na­tions in-branch which can be di­rected to ei­ther the Red Cross Hay Run­ners or Lions Club’s Need for Feed pro­grams.

Branch man­ager Racheal Cartwright said the com­mu­nity sup­port had been fan­tas­tic.

‘‘We’re al­most run­ning out of room. It’s great,” she said.

‘‘The com­mu­nity has been amaz­ing drop­ping off bags of gro­ceries and other Comm­banks have been col­lect­ing to bring to us.’’

From as far as Bendigo and Mount Beauty, bank branches have been bring­ing car­load af­ter car­load of goods to be dis­trib­uted.

‘‘The bank staff and com­mu­ni­ties have been re­ally keen to sup­port the cause,’’ Ms Cartwright said.

‘‘A few lo­cals in Nu­murkah have do­nated knit­ted items, too.’’

Ms Cartwright said the over­whelm­ing sup­port in the area was due to res­i­dents un­der­stand­ing the plight of north­ern farm­ers.

‘‘Be­ing a farm­ing com­mu­nity, I think the cause res­onates with a lot of peo­ple and they un­der­stand the im­pact the drought is hav­ing,’’ she said.

‘‘We’re not do­ing much at the branch — all we’re do­ing is col­lect­ing, try­ing to raise aware­ness and keep this at the front of peo­ple’s minds.’’

Com­ing back from a hay run on Sun­day, Need for Feed north­ern Vic­to­ria co­or­di­na­tor Linda Ry­der said the group had been run off its feet — and wouldn’t want it any other way.

‘‘Ev­ery­body in this dis­trict is fab­u­lous. Res­i­dents from Tallygaroopna and Waaia are do­nat­ing things — peo­ple are un­be­liev­able,’’ Ms Ry­der said.

The most re­cent run saw 72 trucks head north, with 69 trucks head­ing through Dubbo, while three peeled off and headed west into cen­tral NSW.

An­other 17 trucks from Mil­li­cent, South Aus­tralia, headed to Bro­ken Hill to de­liver hay.

‘‘We did more than 400 farms on this run, and all spread out. One farmer got a pair of boots, which a vol­un­teer thought noth­ing of, but the farmer was as­ton­ished,’’ Ms Ry­der said.

She said the do­na­tions Comm­bank branches were cur­rently col­lect­ing would be de­liv­ered in the next run, which is set for the end of this month.

Co­bram and Yar­ra­wonga Com­mon­wealth Bank branches are ac­cept­ing do­na­tions of goods or cash for farm­ers in need.

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