IGA launch drought appeal to support our struggling farmers

THIS Christmas IGA continues to rally behind Aussies devastated by one of the harshest droughts in living memory.

"We can't make it rain, but we can show we care, so in partnership with Drought Angels, St Vincent de Paul and IGA customers, we will be raising funds to support communities most impacted," Queensland IGA State Board Chairman, Frank Spano said.

With 1400 stores across Australia, IGA retailers play an important part in their local communities giving back wherever possible and this Christmas is no exception.

Despite many IGA retailers themselves facing the effects of drought this year, the stores are rallying together across the country to organise a major fundraiser.

From Monday, 11th November, shoppers will be able to purchase a $2 IGA Drought Appeal gift token from participating stores.

IGA will donate all proceeds equally to Vinnies and Drought Angels, to distribute immediately to those in need.

Natasha Johnson, founder of Drought Angels said the initiative would make a huge difference to drought affected families who are doing it extremely tough right.

"We are proud to partner with IGA whose stores are in many of the communities we support. Thanks to IGA customers we will be able to help not just one farmer at a time, but whole communities and we cannot shout thank you loud enough."

Drought Angels provides personalised assistance to farmers including food hampers and financial support and have seen their farmer base increase by 4000% over the last year, all waiting on different types of assistance.

DRY DAYS: IGA Drought Appeal gift tokens will be available in IGA stores around the country from today until to December 29, 2019. Funds are also being raised from products displaying a community chest ticket from December 4 to 24.

"Whether it's food and clean water, medical supplies, help paying energy bills or school fees, maintenance to keep cars or farm equipment up and running, or veterinary care for animal stock - with your support we will be able to provide it," Jack de Groot, CEO of Vinnies NSW said.

"The current drought across Australia's east is the worst on record, while many other areas of the country continue to experience severe drought conditions, with some communities even running out of drinking water.

"The need for support is as great as it's ever been. Please support this initiative by buying a gift token at IGA"

The drought has devastated many farmers and their families, struggling to grow crops and having to put down livestock or give up on their farms completely.

IGA retailers across the country are continually rolling out local initiatives to support drought impacted communities.

From running sausage sizzle fundraisers, and collections in store, sending semi-trailers of water to farms.

Rochelle Ashcroft, owner of Ashcroft's IGA Orange said the drought is more dire today than it was 12 months ago.

"We have witnessed first-hand how farmers around the Orange area are doing it really tough," she said.

"Our customers have rallied with us in the past to support them in many ways, from cash donations, delivering hay, donating food, toiletries and other necessities to help ease the burden.

"We are currently looking at ways we can support people in a town about an hour and a half away that has run out of water.

"The kids can't shower or wash their clothes at home as there is no water, so they are coming to school to do these basic things that we take for granted.

"We need to back our farming families and support the people who provide all the great fresh produce in our stores."

"Leaving Brisbane, hitting Toowoomba and heading over the range is like finding yourself in another world. It is a completely different place, with everything around you dead, brown and covered in dust," Chinchilla farmer, Adrian Young said.

"We are out of sight and out of mind for many people, but farmers and regional communities really need your support.

"I was so close to going under a few weeks ago. We didn't know how we would put food on the table, pay our mortgage or bills, it felt like we were facing a tsunami, we were totally overwhelmed.

"The hardest thing is the continuity of it. You just don't get a break from it. When it's this tough, any help can make a huge difference. Money raised maybe be loose change for many, but to farmers like myself, it can be life changing."

A TOKEN OF HOPE: IGA Drought Appeal gift tokens will be available in IGA stores around the country from today until to December 29, 2019.

There are several ways, IGA customers can show their support and say Thank You to our farmers this Christmas.

IGA Drought Appeal gift tokens will be available in IGA stores around the country from today until to December 29, 2019.

Funds are also being raised from products displaying a community chest ticket from December 4 to 24.

Customers can also post a message of support to those in drought affected areas using the hashtag #morethanrain.


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