More than $31 million in aid has been delivered to farmers and their communities in the past year by charity Rural Aid.
In the past three months alone, 274 trucks have delivered 17,041 bales of hay, valued at $4.7 million, to 1110 drought and fire-affected farmers and more than $7.7 million worth of financial assistance has been provided.
“That equates to over 85 farmers per week receiving 1310 large bales of hay,” Rural Aid chief executive officer John Warlters said.
He said delivering for farmers and rural communities was more important than ever.
“COVID-19 has certainly presented some challenges and our staff are as tenacious as the farmers we support.
“I’m remarkably proud that we’ve continued to support those in need without skipping a beat over the past year and, in particular, the past three months.
“At the same time, our littlest livestock farmers were also supported to the tune of $85,000 with many beekeepers struggling as a result of bushfires, each receiving a $1500 bee support card to feed and sustain their beekeeping businesses.”
Mr Warlters said Rural Aid counsellors had been working overtime supporting 1612 farmers and conducting 330 counselling sessions over the phone or using face-to-face web-based technology.