By Casey Neill

A Lilydale CFA volunteer is leading a dog food donation drive to support drought-stricken farmers.

“I saw a photo of a working dog and he was just skin and bones,” Tanya Brock told the Mail.

“If the farmers can’t afford to feed themselves, they can’t afford to feed their working dogs.”

So Ms Brock put out the word via email, Facebook and in person that she’d started the Dogs in Need project and was collecting bags of food.

“The drought is ongoing so this project will be ongoing,” she said.

“It’s one less thing they need to worry about.”

Lilydale Rotary president Ron Haines connected Ms Brock with Buchan CFA captain Peter White through his son, who lives in Chirnside Park.

Mr White will co-ordinate the food’s distribution in East Gippsland.

He’ll also hand over hand-knitted jumpers for baby lambs, which the Tudor Village ladies committee made.

“They can be used to help baby lambs that have been born premature due to drought conditions,” Mr Haines said.

This latest aid effort followed Rotarians and Yarra Valley farmers sending 120 hay bales to drought-affected farmers in East Gippsland.

The Mail reported on 21 August that the Rotary Club of Lilydale was sending 78 bales of hay to Bairnsdale plus $6000 in grain and fuel vouchers.

Mr Haines said that with help from the Rotary Club of Healesville and Yarra Valley farmers, that number had grown to 120 bales.

“The Rotary Club of Lilydale has also donated a further $6000 for grain and fuel vouchers, with several transport companies donating their trucks for transportation of the hay – this has been a huge saving,” he said.

The Rotary Club of Bairnsdale was co-ordinating the donations, which reached farmers in Orbost, Buchan, Marlo, Cabbage Tree and Orbost.

Donors can drop off dog food to the Lilydale Fire Station at 300 Main Street, Lilydale, from 9am to noon on Sundays or 7pm to 9.30pm on Mondays.

Call Mr Haines on 0412 252 344 for more information.


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