Every grain counts for charities

Cally DupeCountryman
CBH chairman Simon Stead.
Camera IconCBH chairman Simon Stead. Credit: CBH

WA grain growers have raised $150,000 for nine charities by donating 436 tonnes of grain from overloaded trucks last harvest, pushing the eight-year total to more than $1.5 million.

Farmers Across Borders, Ronald McDonald House and Association of Volunteer Bushfire Brigades of WA were just three of nine charities to benefit from the Harvest Mass Management Scheme this year.

The unique grain-selling scheme allows farmers with trucks loaded above legal tolerance limits to forfeit tonnes at CBH bins.

The forfeited grain is sold by CBH and profits are donated to charities helping in regional WA.

CBH, which co-ordinates the scheme with Main Roads, believes the program has slashed the number of overloaded trucks on WA roads by 70 per cent since 2012.

About 436 tonnes of grain worth $150,000 was donated last harvest, down on last year’s 637 tonnes which — coupled with high prices — was worth $250,000.

CBH chairman Simon Stead said the scheme was an “effective deterrent” to the overloading of trucks, while “giving back to regional communities at the same time”.

“Through HMMS, growers are extending their support for charities that play a key role during these unprecedented times,” he said.

Mental Illness Fellowship of WA chief executive Monique Williamson said the group planned to use its $25,000 on its Daring Greatly workshops for families and carers in regional communities, which focus on resilience.

She said the group would also facilitate art therapy workshops and invest in its phone support Reaching Out program, which provides phone or online video support for people in regional WA.

“We understand the isolation of the Wheatbelt, and this donation will help to boost our activity in the region and our ability to support the community with their mental health and wellbeing,” Ms Williamson said.

St John Ambulance WA will use its $25,000 spend to install 16 automated external defibrillators in grain-growing regions.

Association of Volunteer Bushfire Brigades of WA received $25,000 to support its volunteers.

Ronald McDonald house received $20,000 for the Work of Heart program to provide educational sessions supporting sick children and their siblings living in the Ronald McDonald House in completing their homework and education.

Foodbank received $20,000 to participate in the School Breakfast Program, and provide families impacted by COVID-19 in grain-growing regions with food hampers.

The Asthma Foundation received $10,000 for its free telehealth service, enabling regional patients to access medical appointments and education. Farmers Across Borders received $10,000 to deliver livestock feed.

The Fiona Wood Foundation received $10,000 to help deliver education programs through the State Government’s telehealth service.

Midwest Charity Begins at Home received $5000 to help Mid West families in need due to serious illness.

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