Two local community groups in Moree will each receive a $5000 boost from the Aussie Cotton Farmers Grow Communities program.
Moree and District Historical Society and St Philomena's School Moree P & F Association are among 30 not-for-profit organisations in rural and regional cotton-growing communities to receive a grant through the Aussie Cotton Farmers Grow Communities program.
This year marks the seventh round of the Aussie Cotton Farmers Grow Communities program, which the Crop Science division of Bayer delivers in partnership with the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR).
Local cotton growers nominated each of the not-for-profits that are receiving funds, which will help strengthen community resilience and positively impact on the wellbeing of cotton-growing communities.
Moree and District Historical Society will use its $5000 funding to develop organisational resilience and capacity through the installation of solar panels at the museum in Frome Street.
St Philomena's School Moree P & F will use its $5000 grant to support school engagement and enhance learning outcomes through the construction of an outdoor classroom.
FRRR CEO Natalie Egleton said a consistent theme across nominations this year was a strong desire to boost morale and maintain community spirit in the face of drought.
"Local cotton growing communities, already dealing with the stresses of sustained drought, have told us of the additional strain caused by COVID-19 restrictions," she said.
"For these groups, normal fundraising activities have been turned on their head with local businesses, already struggling to survive, unable to lend their support to these community organisations.
"It's wonderful to have partners like Bayer to be able to help to alleviate some of their fundraising challenges as they work hard to keep their communities connected and address critical community needs."
"There are so many not-for-profit groups and local charities doing wonderful things to make cotton growing communities great places to live and work.
"This year we've seen many groups seeking support to develop and build organisational and community resilience. Their determination to see their communities thrive, despite the challenges they face, is inspiring."
Bayer Crop Science head of customer marketing for Australia and New Zealand Tony May congratulated the winners and said the funding will assist in bringing people together again after being disconnected by COVID-19 restrictions.
"Many of the projects being funded will ensure cotton-growing communities can interact and connect with one another safely during the pandemic," he said.
"The grants will help build community gardens, upgrade facilities for digital learning and enhance outdoor areas to foster connections."