Baling out farmers by Advantage Group’s charity drive

Advantage Group has raised $12,000, which will enable charity BuyaBale to send one semi-trailer load of hay (worth $9,500) and 25 extra bales of hay to drought-stricken farmers across Australia, thanks to the national pharmacy chain’s staff and customers.

The group’s 17 pharmacies rallied last week to hold #PHARMforFarm fancy-dress fundraisers with the objective of raising awareness of the drought situation and how this is affecting Australian farmers, while raising funds to help them.

Advantage Group has numerous rural community pharmacies with many customers directly affected by the drought. Many of the retail outlets are within drought-stricken areas and the teams regularly help Aussie farmers with their healthcare needs.

Thanking all the donors, Advantage Pharmacy CEO Steven Kastrinakis said: “Many stories are shared within our community pharmacies of the plight of our country’s farmers, particularly now, as they go through the worst drought in living memory.

“Aussie farmers are the backbone of our country and more than ever they need our help and support through this tough time.”

Joanne Valentine, who works at Advantage Pharmacy Ontario (Mildura, Victoria), says the area served by her pharmacy is badly affected.

“We’ve had farmers come into the pharmacy who sheared 15,000 sheep last year and this year only did 1,500,” she said.

“The Wentworth Show [at Wentworth, NSW, 30km from Mildura] for the first time ever had no sheep-shearing competition at all.

“There’s no rain whatsoever, no water in the dams and our farmers can’t pump any water to feed their livestock.

“It really is very sad and shocking to see our hard-working customers’ livelihoods at stake.”