Coles Moree and CWA team up for drought relief effort

LENDING A HAND: Moree CWA president Maryke Greutink (left) and secretary Joy Holmes (right) with Coles Moree bakery manager Janine Stevens, who is participating in 'Flannel Friday for Farmers', and store manager Ryan Lumb encourage customers to donate in store to help struggling farmers.
LENDING A HAND: Moree CWA president Maryke Greutink (left) and secretary Joy Holmes (right) with Coles Moree bakery manager Janine Stevens, who is participating in 'Flannel Friday for Farmers', and store manager Ryan Lumb encourage customers to donate in store to help struggling farmers.

Coles and the Country Women’s Association have teamed up to throw their support by the drought relief effort, helping to raise much-needed funds for drought-affected farmers.

Moree Coles customers can help support farmers affected by the drought throughout the month of August, by simply making a donation at the checkout which will be matched dollar for dollar by the supermarket.

“We’re doing dollar for dollar for the drought relief,” Coles Moree manager Ryan Lumb said.

“Any dollar figure that goes through the register, Coles will match.”

Mr Lumb said customers can donate $2, $5, $10 or an amount of their choice at the checkout.

“You can round up the total of the receipt, so just say it comes to $98.70 and you want to donate that $1.30, Coles will match that,” he said.

All funds raised at the checkout will be provided to the CWA (through its state and territory organisations) to provide support to drought-affected families to help cover household expenses such as school expenses and food, medical, electricity and water bills.

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The Coles Moree team is also leading a weekly fundraiser, ‘Flannel Friday for Farmers’ where team members wear a flannelette shirt and encourage customers to donate dry goods in the trolleys at the front of the store.

These items will then be donated to McGregor Gourlay’s Moree Drought Muster, to be distributed to Moree district farmers in need.

With the money raised through the register going to NSW CWA head office, Mr Lumb said the ‘Flannel Friday for Farmers initiative is a way for the Moree team to ensure donations are also making their way to the local community.

Coles Moree has so far had an overwhelmingly positive response to donation efforts from the community, last week managing to fill a whole roll cage worth goods to be donated to the drought muster.

Mr Lumb said he’s noticed how the drought is taking its toll on the community, with customers spending less in store as families feel the pinch.

“From a morale perspective, the drought is at the forefront of everyone’s minds,” he said.

“We’ve seen a significant downturn in trade and how our customers and staff are feeling; it’s tough on everybody.

“Farmers are the backbone of our community; if they’re struggling, then everyone’s going to struggle.”

Mr Lumb encourages all customers to head in store throughout the remainder of August and chat to the staff at the checkout to make a dollar donation.

“Every dollar helps, whether it’s $1 or $10, Coles will match that donation,” he said.

“People have more than two weeks to come down and make a difference.”

Moree CWA secretary Joy Holmes thanked Coles for taking on this initiative.

“So many people rely on Coles and it’s great that they can support the drought relief and support the community in this way,” she said.

“It’s inspirational what they’re doing to support the town and the community at large.”

In addition to the CWA drought fundraising, Coles will also donate $5 million in grants or interest free loans from the Coles Nurture Fund for farmers who have a project which will help them to combat drought in the future. Coles is also supporting its grass fed beef suppliers by buying their livestock as grain fed beef if the farmers have been forced to feed grain to their cattle during the drought.

Already over the past year, Coles has provided over half a million dollars in grants to farmers who applied to the Coles Nurture Fund to implement initiatives to make them less dependent on rain.