Canberra’s Capital Region Farmers Market has revealed many of its stallholders have been severely affected by the Australian bushfires across several regions, and vows to do whatever it takes to help and support the Farmers Market community.

“We are deeply saddened that a number of our stallholders have been affected across several regions including the NSW South Coast, Snowy Mountains, South West Slopes and Southern Highlands, with many experiencing partial or total destruction of property, equipment, crops and stocks,” said Capital Region Farmers Market Manager, Sarah Power.

“Up until now, the most significant impact on our many farmers and producers, has been drought. Now you add these devastating fires to the mix…it is just heartbreaking. These families have been affected very badly, and we will see a knock-on affect for years to come in terms of long-term production,” Sarah continued.

Sarah revealed that the Market will reopen tomorrow and that its return for 2020 is the best way that locals can support the stallholders through buying and donating.

“You can support our stallholders by buying what produce there is available. These people’s livelihoods depend on this income – we know many Canberrans have been feeling hopeless, so one way to show support is to continue to shop local,” Sarah continued.

Tony Howard, spokesperson for the Rotary Club of Hall which owns and manages the Capital Region Farmers Market, today announced the launch of the Farmers Market Community Bushfire Appeal, revealing that Rotary has donated $50,000 to kick off the appeal.

“Our appeal will assist our Farmers Market families with critical short-term support and assistance. Rotary will assist fire affected stallholders and their families with financial contributions, clean up assistance, provision of new or used equipment, mental and social support and administrative support for businesses,” Tony said.

Visitors to the Capital Region Farmers Market can head to the Rotary Bushfire Marquee onsite at the front of the Market’s shed where they can contribute donations. They can find out more about fire affected stallholders and other ways in which they can assist. The Farmers Market Community Bushfire Appeal will run for the remainder of January.

“Rotary is a not-for-profit run by volunteers. Our members can act very quickly to reach and assist these people. Visitors can be assured that 100% of funds donated will directly support fire affected stallholders who require immediate and ongoing assistance across these regions,” Tony concluded.

Capital Region Farmers Markets reopens for the year tomorrow, Saturday 11th January, from 7.30am – 11.30am. Visitors are to be aware that there will be a reduced number of stallholders due to the fires, drought and access into Canberra. The Market will minimise the impact of the current smoke in the ACT this weekend by locating all stallholders inside the shed where possible. Visitors should take necessary precautions and follow the advice of ACT Health with regards to any potential smoke hazards.

For more information on the Market,  the appeal, how you can assist and where your money goes, visit https://capitalregionfarmersmarket.com.au/farmers-markets-community-bushfire-appeal/

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