Coles will donate $1 million to drought-affected farmers to kick off a national fundraising campaign at more than 1500 supermarkets & Liquorland stores.
The $1 million donation from the Coles Nurture Fund – together with all funds donated by customers at the checkout – will be provided to the Country Women’s Association (CWA) which will distribute grants to farming families across Australia to help cover household expenses, electricity, water bills and farm expenses.
Already Coles and its customers have pledged $16 million in drought relief, which has resulted in more than 4000 grants through the CWA, Coles Dairy Drought Relief Fund and the Coles Nurture Fund.
The grants have enabled farming families to pay for household or farm expenses in times of drought or to begin a project to help them cope with drought in the future.
Country Women’s Association of Australia President Tanya Cameron said the need for support was ongoing and farmers were experiencing their fourth, fifth and sixth consecutive years of drought in some areas.
“There’s a dogged determination in the farming community to get through the tough times but the reality is that the bills keep coming – whether that’s a doctor’s bill, grocery bill or shire rates,” she said.
Coles CEO Steven Cain said Coles wanted to provide additional support to farming families who were affected by ongoing drought.
“We are indebted to our farmers who supply great food for our customers all year round and we want to do more to help those who continue to suffer due to severe drought conditions.
“We hope that through a national drought campaign, we can make a difference at a grassroots level and win together with communities,” he said.
“The Country Women’s Association continues to do amazing work in rural communities and we are delighted to partner with them again to provide grants to farming families and rural businesses dependent on farming incomes.”
This article was first published in The Fence magazine.