Feeding our Future – You Can Help

Drought relief: Don’t take your foot off the accelerator just yet. Your efforts with the drought relief will help to “feed the future” of Australian farming. Forty dollars ($40) will buy a farming family a box of mixed vegetables while $100 will buy a box of mixed vegetables with meat.

255 Boxes and 3 Ton of Produce

Valued at just over $9,000, Slow Food Hunter Valley has delivered 255 boxes of fresh produce to drought-affected farmers in the Upper Hunter. This has been made possible by the generosity of the community including:
substantial donations of fresh food from local farmers who are stallholders at the Maitland Earth Markets
donations from The Little Tin Shed in Medowie
donations totalling more than $6,000 from Maitland City Council, members of the community and a number of anonymous donors
Slow Food Hunter Valley fund-raising ($2,500)
some 200 volunteer-hours (packing and delivering boxes – not to mention collecting empty boxes from a range of shops).

What Our Farmers Are Saying

Good evening,
We wanted to pass on our heartfelt thanks to all the farmers who provided the vegetables in a care package that was delivered recently to our family in Scone. We are a farming family from [the Upper Hunter].  We were able to share the produce with 3 other families. The honey and lemon cordial are delightful.  When is your next market held and what is the location as we would like to come and support the farmers. Thank you once again for the very generous gift of produce. (name and property details withheld for reasons of privacy)

For more quotes, see the right hand column “What our Hunter farmers have to say”.

Christmas Initiative for Drought Relief

For several months we have been fund-raising for drought relief in the Upper Hunter. The money has been used to purchase fresh produce from our Earth Market stallholders. However, our funds are running low and Christmas is fast approaching. Because we all “feel the pinch” at Christmas time we are reluctant to ask for donations so, instead, were we are collecting ANY surplus produce from our backyard growers to help fill the food boxes for Upper Hunter Farmers. For full details, see our Fresh Produce for a Farmer’s Christmas page.

What have we been doing?

Slow Food Hunter Valley has been providing boxes of mixed vegetables to farmers as a way of assisting with drought relief. Through our fund raising efforts we have been able to purchase vegetables from local farmers. Volunteers have packed the boxes and delivered them to areas in the Upper Hunter. Our next box drop will be on Friday, August 3 and it will be our third delivery to farmers in the Gundy area. The 40  boxes will packed at the Earth Market on Thursday afternoon. We will continue to roll out this support for as long as we are able.

We could not do this alone

The produce boxes are taken to the Upper Hunter and distributed through our Country Women’s Association (CWA) connections. The CWA – who are at the coal face of this drought – have provided the link between us and the farming community in the Upper Hunter. Without their assistance this could not have been possible.

We are also grateful to the following for keeping boxes for us to use when packing the drought relief produce (it is surprising how hard it is to find 40 boxes of the same – or similar – size).
Sam and the staff at Merewether IGA (Llewellyn Street, Merewether)
Clint from Lambton Fruit Market & Juice Bar (Elder Street, Lambton) (fun fact … this shop was established in 1922 and remains one of a very small number of independent fruit and veg shops in Newey)
Organic Feast (William Street, East Maitland).

How can you help?

You can donate to the drought-relief boxes by direct credit to our account. You can donate:
$40 for for a mixed box of vegetables
$100 for a mixed box of vegetables WITH meat pack from local farmers.
ANY amount that will go towards a mixed box of vegetables WITH/WITHOUT a meat pack (depending on the cumulative total of smaller donations).
Donate to:
Slow Food Hunter Valley
BSB: 062827
Account Number: 10250766
Reference: Please use “FOF” followed by your surname (example FOFBloggs).

If you donate

As a volunteer, not-for-profit organisation,100% of your donations go to the farmers. If you donate any money, would you please send an email (with your name) to slowfoodhuntervalley@gmail.com. This will allow us to acknowledge you (by publishing your name on our website. If you would like to remain anonymous, that’s OK too.

It doesn’t matter how small or large your donation is … IT ALL ADDS UP and IT ALL GOES TO THE FARMER!

Why donate?

Drought means farmers cannot feed their stock, themselves, their families or US! It’s hard to believe that fresh food becomes a luxury on a farm!! This seems like a contradiction but it is the reality of life on the land in a “sunburnt country”. If you can feel our farmers’ pain, if you value the future of farming in Australia, if you want to eat Australian produce well into the future, if you want to help, you can. You can be part of our initiative as we work with volunteers, Slow Food Hunter Valley members and local farmers from our Earth Markets to deliver fresh food to families in the Upper Hunter.

“Thank you for your initiative and for providing a donation site that provides confidence in the donator that the money received will provide direct and positive benefit. Keep up the amazing and supportive work. With Gratitude, Jenny Klok.”

“You are wonderful for organising this. Hoping to give more next week. Jodie and her kiddos xxxxxx”