Feed4Farmers Facebook group has gone from zero to hero in days

GROUP WORK: Mitchell Kennewell and Darren Barrett have been overwhelmed by the support Feed4Farmers has received. 0730jkfarmers2
GROUP WORK: Mitchell Kennewell and Darren Barrett have been overwhelmed by the support Feed4Farmers has received. 0730jkfarmers2

After finishing work for the week on Friday, Mitchell Kennewell sat in front of his computer at home and logged on to Facebook.

Tired of feeling helpless watching news stories of drought stricken farmers he decided it was time to do something.

At 11:49pm that night, Mr Kennewell created Feed4Farmers, a group of Orange residents focused on fundraising for drought relief.

By midnight on Saturday, the group had reached over 1000 concerned members eager to do something to ease the burden of farmers trying to survive the drought.

In the days following, Mr Kennewell has called the outreach of support “unbelievable”.

“Absolutely blown away by the response,” he said.

FOOD DONOR: Ray Chamberlain purchased this trolley of groceries for donation.

FOOD DONOR: Ray Chamberlain purchased this trolley of groceries for donation.

By Tuesday, its almost 2000 members had set up a donation page, put hands up to provide food drop off points, arranged drivers to transport goods and come up with several creative ways to raise awareness.

Working hard to maintain the momentum, Mr Kennewell said the group action is proof that the public is fed up with how the drought is being handled.

“I don’t think it’s getting enough coverage of just how bad it is,” he said.

“These are people on properties just around the corner from ours skipping showers, people we see walking down the street.”

Some of the people fed up and taking action include Feed4Farmers member Cheryl Lee Southwell who will help run a sausage sizzle fundraiser at Bunnings from 10am until 4pm on Friday.

Group administrator Mark Frecklington who will collect recycling to be turned into donations through Return and Earn.

HAMPER HELP: The Culverson family is making hampers for farmers.

HAMPER HELP: The Culverson family is making hampers for farmers.

Qualified hairdresser Rebecca Childs put the call out for a salon with a spare seat and was answered by Sierra Leone Hair and Beauty.

On Saturday the Byng street hair studio will host Ms Childs while she donates the profits from her haircuts and styles to Feed4Farmers.

Mr Kennewell said the challenge now is finding farmers willing to put their hand up for help.

For help in a crisis, call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

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