Farmer Joe's Pantry goes from strength to strength in the Hastings helping those impacted by drought and fire

READY TO HELP: Colin Norton, Pam Foye and Lea Lloyd at the pantry in Wauchope. PHOTO: Laura Telford.
READY TO HELP: Colin Norton, Pam Foye and Lea Lloyd at the pantry in Wauchope. PHOTO: Laura Telford.

An initiative started to help farmers in need during the drought has committed to helping those across the Mid North Coast for another 12 months.

Farmer Joe's Pantry in the Hastings is run by the Rotary Club of Port Macquarie Sunrise and is a place where community members from across the Mid North Coast in need can come to fill their pantry and home with the essentials.

The pantry was initially just for those in drought but has been instrumental in helping locals who were impacted by bushfires over summer pantry manager Pam Foye said.

"Since we opened we have helped over 120 families across the region with everything from food and toiletries to toys for children and clothing and bedding," Mrs Foye said.

"We have been so delighted to be able to help those in need and we have committed to running the food pantry for another 12 months at least."

The pantry is based in the industrial area at Wauchope and is open twice a week with volunteers also making house calls when needed.

Mrs Foye said the need to help those in need is not diminisihing even with recent downpours.

"The worst thing that can happen now is that we forget about all those who are still in drought and of course our fire victims," she said.

"Even though Port Macquarie is turning back to green the hard times for many are not over. We are still going strong and helping with food and other donations and will be doing so for all of 2020."

Over recent months the people have donated a large amount of non food items which have come in helpful to those who have lost everything but the pantry want sell some them to put the primary focus back on food distribution.

She said the pantry will be having a garage sale open to the community to give away some of their donations.

"We have grown so much and been inundated with donations from people across the country that we are having a garage sale to spread our donations across more of the community," she said.

"We have a whole second shed and we need to get the donations out to the wider community so we can continue to support those struggling with food donations.

"Please come along to 14 Commerce Street, Wauchope on March 13 from 7.30am -3pm and March 14 from 7.30am -1pm.

"There will be nothing over $5 and all the money we receive will go to buying food for locals still impacted by bushfire and drought."