Thursday, 19 September 2019: To help support communities that are continuing to experience some of the worst and prolonged drought conditions on record, Woolworths is partnering with leading Australian charities to launch the S.T.A.N.D (Support Through Australian Natural Disasters) Drought Action Appeal.
The Salvation Army, Rural Aid, Foodbank and Lifeline are set to benefit from the Appeal, ensuring they can continue their vital work in supporting drought impacted rural and regional communities.
The Appeal will help fund a variety of programs undertaken by the organisations including:
Financial support for household and living expenses
On-farm support such as stock feed for farmers in drought declared areas
Additional counsellors in regional areas in recognition of the significant mental health toll the drought is having
Helping address food insecurity in drought impacted areas
The fundraising kick starts this weekend in Woolworths supermarkets nationwide with customers invited to buy a limited edition sunflower seed kit as part of the Woolworths Discovery Garden community program. Available exclusively in-store this weekend for $2, all funds raised will go directly to supporting the S.T.A.N.D Drought Action Appeal, with Woolworths matching every dollar raised from the sale of the kits. There will be a limit of 3 sunflower seed kits per customer.
The Woolworths Discovery Garden sunflower seed is sourced from a number of local Australian farmers across New South Wales.
Customers who don’t wish to purchase a sunflower seed kit can still contribute to the Appeal by making a donation at the register or with their online shop.
Woolworths Supermarkets Managing Director, Claire Peters said: “Woolworths are in the heart of every community, including drought-impacted regions. Every day we hear about the worsening situation in these regions from our local team members and we want to do more to support those impacted by drought.
“Last year during the drought action appeal, our financial commitment, along with the millions of dollars raised by customers and team, helped our partner Rural Aid supply stock feed, counsellors and financial assistance to farmers in drought impacted regions.
“This year our Appeal will provide support to our partners The Salvation Army, Rural Aid, Foodbank and Lifeline. They all play a vital role in helping alleviate the pressure of the drought, not only at the farm gate, but across the wider communities in which those farms operate.
“To kickstart the Appeal this weekend, customers can purchase a $2 limited edition sunflower seed kit as part of the Woolworths Discovery Garden program. We will donate all funds raised towards helping drought affected communities while also matching every dollar raised from the sale of the kits.”
The Salvation Army Chief Secretary Colonel Mark Campbell said: “It’s no secret that families in rural and remote areas across Australia are doing it incredibly tough and that drought is a multifaceted issue.
“We appreciate that communities don’t necessarily want a hand-out, but they want a hand-up to be able to support them to ensure their communities remain as vibrant as they should be.
“We stand in support, together with other charities in supporting drought impacted communities, with money raised helping us provide emotional support and financial relief to those affected who are struggling to pay everyday bills, including basics such as food, petrol and utilities.”
Rural Aid CEO, Charles Alder said: “We were overwhelmed with the support and generosity shown by Woolworths customers and team in raising funds via our Buy a Bale programme in 2018. The millions of dollars raised has helped us provide much needed relief to farmers in drought impacted communities.
“The dire projection of drought is not letting up and we are yet to see the worst of its impact. We are very conscious that it will be a prolonged state of crisis in rural and regional areas across Australia and as such raising funds to be able to continue to deliver our support to those in need is essential.
“Further to providing on-farm support to farmers, Rural Aid offers financial assistance and mental health counselling to help keep the community spirit alive and support a positive mindset through these tough times.”
Foodbank CEO, Brianna Casey said: “Food insecurity in Australia is already at an all time high and unfortunately it is only further exacerbated by the drought.
“We’re determined to do all we can to end hunger, ensuring no Aussie child, family or individual is left with the uncertainty and stress of sourcing their next meal. Money raised as part of this Appeal will help us continue this work in regional areas.”
Lifeline CEO, Colin Seery said: “While people in rural and regional Australia are known for being down-to-earth, practical and resilient, it’s important for them to know that help is available and for them to access that help.
“Funds raised by this Appeal will enable more Lifeline skilled trainers to support drought impacted communities to better recognise and respond to signs of mental health concerns and provide conversations that could offer hope.”
For further information, contact Woolworths Media, email@example.com, 02 8885 1033