Memories of family farm drive donations for drought families

TRAVELLING to and from a family farm at Mundubbera as a child, seeing the dry country was enough of a wake up call for Neridah McGregor to want to help.

The memory of dry grass, dwindling produce and animal carcasses was vivid; yet nothing in comparison to what farmers out west are experiencing today.

Ms McGregor said she was moved to make a difference from as far back as she can remember, and acted on that desire six months ago.

The Coles bakery manager partnered with her team at Caneland Central to raise non-perishable items for 20 families at Yaraka and Isisford.

The generosity of her customers blew Ms McGregor away. The team raised more than $40,000 worth of lasting food, toiletries and Christmas gifts, which were strapped down on to 20 pallets.

"We started off with tins and then had a bin at the front of the store," she said.

"People were buying bits and pieces as they shopped and would drop them in; but there was one family who came in and spent $270 on an entire shop and donated the whole thing."

As the donation ball started to roll, Ms McGregor and her team started to clear out the bins every second day, which was stored on pallets at an Aurizon shed in Paget.

She will be joined by her store manager, Dylan Ghost, and several others, who will travel more than nine hours to reach about 120 people: including 20 children who will receive presents.

"They may not have been able to have a Christmas," she said.

"These people have nothing.

"They're unable to buy feed, their livestock are just skin and bone, and I've even heard of some who have even gone without food to feed their stock instead."

The donation drive delivery team is set to host a "Christmas in Isisford" lunch once they arrive, for about 120 community members at the Clancy Overflow Hotel, Isisford.

Salad, steak, mince pies and dessert will be provided, as well as photos which will be displayed in the Tuesday edition of the Daily Mercury.


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