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Pubs help farmers battling drought

Pubs help farmers battling drought

Restaurants donate through the Parma For A Farmer campaign

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer
Farms.com

Australian restaurant-goers who purchase a classic Italian dish will help support farmers facing drought conditions.

A group of Australian pubs are using orders of chicken parmesan to donate to Buy a Bale, which helps ranchers get the feed they need for their livestock as dry weather impacts their hay supplies.

The initiative is called Parma For A Farmer.

For each chicken parmesan ordered, pubs donate $1 to Buy a Bale. It costs about $20 to transport one bale of hay to a farmer in need.

Amanda Kinross is not a farmer, but she lives in rural Australia and has seen the drought’s damage in her community. She came up with the idea on the fly and decided to put it on Facebook to see if there was any interest.

“One image – an interview of a farmer who was facing having to put down his starving stock and couldn’t even afford the bullets – just stuck with me,” she told news.com.au Monday. “I just thought, there must be something we can do.”

Since Kinross shared her idea on Facebook, about 100 pubs have adopted her idea. The Australian Hotels Association urges pubs across the country to participate.

Some establishments, like Clocktower Hotel, are matching the donation, meaning $2 from every dish ordered will help farmers.

And customers are going the extra mile to support producers too.

“We’ve even had people coming up and asking if they can add one dollar to other meals on the menu, and we’ll match those amounts as well,” Amee Newman, owner of the Clocktower Hotel, told The Daily Examiner yesterday.

Growers are thankful for the generosity.

As some may producers may have to make difficult decisions for next year, they celebrate the community support.

“We’re really thinking about next year’s budget,” Wayne Smith, a sheep producer from New South Wales, told ABC News on Monday. “It’s a great idea by the hotels association. People want to help but it’s hard to find a way to help.”

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