Need For Feed fire relief convoy arrives in Macksville

Photo by Jenny Godfrey, Macksville Lions
Photo by Jenny Godfrey, Macksville Lions

A convoy of 16 hay trucks rolled into Macksville at around 7.30 last Saturday night, accompanied by a brief burst of torrential rain, lightning, the blaring of flashing lights and the sounding of horns.

The convoy had left Victoria the previous morning and were part of the Lions "Need for Feed" Program. But this convoy was a special one, put on as part of the Lions' response to the recent bushfires.

The convoy carried over 370 tonnes of fodder, worth almost $100,000 all of which was donated by fodder producers across Victoria and delivered to various communities from Taree through Nambucca and further north along the coast.

Need for Feed has been operating since 2006 and since the beginning of 2018, has delivered over $8 million worth of fodder to farmers affected by the drought.

The drivers, who hailed from Victoria, the Mid North Coast and the Dubbo/Wellington regions of NSW, had all donated their time and the free use of their trucks to participate in the convoy with the Need for Feed program paying for their fuel.

At the Showground the trucks were met by members of the Macksville Lions Club who had arranged for the use of the facilities and who had a hearty meal waiting for the drivers and their escort vehicle crew.

The convoy included John and Chris Ferguson from Eungai Rail who have been participating in the relief convoys for a number of years.

Photo by Jenny Godfrey, Macksville Lions

Photo by Jenny Godfrey, Macksville Lions

Also meeting the vehicles were two young Lions, James and Eli from the Belmont NSW Lions Club who had transported the contents of 80 food hampers from the Central Coast to be delivered by Need for Feed to affected families along the Mid North Coast.

Throughout the journey the convoy has continued to raise money for the program, and on Saturday evening it raised over $2500 when the Convoy Commander Graham Cockerell shaved off his "Movember Moustache".

The convoy was a great example of Australians pulling together to support people in need.

Anybody who would like to donate to, or volunteer with the Need For Feed can contact them on the NFF website: http://www.needforfeed.org/

Primary producers can request assistance from the program through the same website and the public are invited to join in on the journey by following the NFF on Facebook on: https://www.facebook.com/NeedForFeedDisasterRelief/

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