Truckloads of fodder will arrive in Wellington this Saturday for the Lions Need for Feed disaster relief project.
A convoy of 25 semi-trailers filled with hay, along with dozens of support vehicles loaded up with fodder, calf pellets, dog food, care packages and hampers will stop at the Port of Sale around 11.30am.
Sale Lions Club, with support from Wellington Shire Council will host a barbecue lunch for drivers and volunteers. Members of the public are welcome to come along to view the convoy and show their support.
Deliveries will be made to farms in some instances. For more remote or inaccessible farms, depots with fodder and other goods will be set up as collection points.
That information will be relayed to those who have sought assistance.
Following the barbecue in Sale, the convoy will continue to East Gippsland to assist farmers also battling drought conditions.
Wellington Shire Council Mayor Carolyn Crossley said the Council was pleased to support the Lions Need for Feed disaster relief project, because it was providing practical support right where it is needed.
“This Lions project isn’t just a token gesture or a talk-fest about what can be done, it’s real relief in real time,” Cr Crossley said.
“The drought affecting Wellington and East Gippsland municipalities has fallen under the radar and we do hope this delivery offers some relief even in the short-term for our primary producers who are doing it tough.
“Wellington Shire is pleased to support and assist with this project.”
Following their visit to Sale, the trucks will head east, stopping overnight in Bruthen.
Need for Feed chief organiser Don Petty, himself a farmer, said the convoy would be a sight to behold.
“Among the convoy will be about 15 old club permit trucks and about a dozen of those are prime movers. They are in really good condition and will make for quite a sight,” Mr Petty said.
Mr Petty said the group had previously visited East Gippsland on Australia Day.
“We’ve continued to bring hay down and we will continue to come – this won’t be the last time. Many people are unaware that farmers in East Gippsland and Wellington are doing it tough. We hope this public hay run helps shine some light on the situation in eastern Gippsland,” Mr Petty said.
The fodder being delivered consists of some donated hay, but is predominantly hay purchased by Need for Feed at market value courtesy of financial donations made to the volunteer organisation. There have been some large donations made of late. Hampers and care packages are also made up of donated items, with, for example, some produce being included from a donor in Werribee.