DROUGHT HELP: Majella Stevens, Anna Walker, Lyndell Brown, Rebecca Leotta and Rachael Wood .
DROUGHT HELP: Majella Stevens, Anna Walker, Lyndell Brown, Rebecca Leotta and Rachael Wood . Matthew Purcell

Fire the barbies up for Fiver for a Farmer block party

SPURRED on by the recent visit from the A Fiver for a Farmer charity initiative creator, local organisations are uniting to host a block party to raise money for the campaign.

On August 28 the community is being urged to come together, shell out five bucks and show support for our struggling farmers and producers.

The idea was cooked up by the team at the Granite Belt Neighbourhood Centre and Community Development Services.

They want to put smiles back on faces and get away from the doom and gloom, if only for an afternoon.

"It went from being an idea last Tuesday to like a thousand people coming, which is a bit of a shock,” GBNC manager Anna Walker said.

At the end of July, 11-year-old Sydney schoolboy Jack Berne dropped in to Stanthorpe to film for television new program The Project.

He wanted to show the nation just how dire the drought circumstances were on the Granite Belt and at the same time sought to raise money for the charity he created, A Fiver for a Farmer.

"Because we'd had this little chap come out from Sydney, I suppose there's the reality that farmers are doing it tough here,” Ms Walker said.

"I suppose the fact of the matter is, we all come from farming backgrounds anyway. That's probably where it all stemmed from, this idea.

"Farmers out here have had a bit of triple whammy in that firstly it might have been drought, then we ended up with contaminated stock food coming out in relief and then we had fires and dams were drained.

Jack and Prue Berne with Leah and George Costanzo on Jack's 'Fiver for a Farmer' visit to film for The Project in Stanthorpe.
Jack and Prue Berne with Leah and George Costanzo on Jack's 'Fiver for a Farmer' visit to film for The Project in Stanthorpe. Contributed

"We're seeing a decline in the rural sector, less employment, certainly less agriculture happening.

"I've just been doing up a grant for Food Bank. The farmers in this district, over the past year, have supported over 2000 people coming in to get food but now they just can't give any more because they're not producing.

"I suppose that's a sad reflection of where it's all at. No one has a crystal ball and knows when it's going to rain.”

They're still ironing out a few details but the event will be held on Wednesday, August 28, from about 11.30am.

It'll be hosted at the neighbourhood centre, either in the carpark or out the back.

"I think we'll probably be starting barbecues at 11.30,” Ms Walker said.

"We'll have the kids from Kids Korner coming through at about 12. It'll run through to sort of 1-1.30pm.

"So far it's the police, Centrelink, us, Kids Korner, Rainbow Kids and Granite Belt Support Services involved.

"We're hoping that A Fiver for a Farmer will give us some stickers to give out to the kids that come through. We'll have donation buckets coming through so anything collected can go back to that foundation.”

They're also hopeful of getting St Joseph's on board and are inviting anyone from the community to come along.

"I suppose the important thing is we know who is coming because at the moment we're thinking we're going to have to buy 2000 sausages,” she said.

"I think the thing for us is there's a lot of doom and gloom and people aren't feeling so good so we were trying to find a good news story that bumps up community spirit.”

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