Coles customers have dug deep for Australian farming communities, by joining with Coles to provide more than $10 million to help farmers deal with the impact of drought.
Donations for the Country Women’s Association drought relief efforts by customers at Coles supermarket checkouts and via Coles online have exceeded $2.5 million in just four weeks.
With Coles matching every donation dollar-for-dollar since the start of August, the CWA will now have more than $5 million to support drought-affected families, to help cover household expenses such as school expenses and food, medical, electricity and water bills.
Coles also announced today that it will continue the matching of all customer donations, which had been scheduled to end on 31 August, until the end of September.
Incoming National President of the Country Women’s Association of Australia, Tanya Cameron, expressed her sincere thanks on behalf of all CWA’s state and territory bodies across the country.
“This effort from Coles, and their customers, has been incredible. We are extremely grateful for this huge outpouring of generosity and support for our agricultural industry. The funds raised will make such a difference to farming families and the communities in which they live and work,” she said.
Coles has also pledged $5 million in grants or interest-free loans from the Coles Nurture Fund for farmers who have a project to help them to combat drought in the future.
Coles Managing Director John Durkan said: “We have been overwhelmed with the generosity of our customers, who have made an enormous contribution to support families affected by drought. We are matching every single donation until the end of September so they can make an even greater difference in rural communities experiencing hardship.
“We’re also looking forward to providing long-term help to farmers through $5 million in grants and interest-free loans from the Coles Nurture Fund for innovative projects that will help them deal with drought in the future.”
Applications for the Coles Nurture Fund close on 14 September, and farmers wanting to apply can find more information on www.coles.com.au/nurturefund
In addition to the $5 million pledge, the Coles Nurture Fund has already provided over half a million dollars in grants over the past year to farmers to implement initiatives to make them less dependent on rain.
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. —