After devastating floods hit Lismore on the Far North Coast of NSW a second time in a month, Rapid Relief Team responded to local calls for support supplying 1,628 hay bales for farmers in need recently.

The A-grade, tested, lucerne hay was distributed to more than 115 farmers near Lismore airport by the Brethren charity on 1 April.

The relief effort included more than 100 bales being airlifted by helicopter to farmers with access cut off due to the floods.

The Farmers Community Connect event came about after RRT received feedback from farmers in need following the first flooding event at Lismore in March.

Farmers had saturated paddocks and limited feed due to the floods – making the high grade lucerne hay incredibly valued.

Sadly, many farmers also lost high numbers of stock.

RRT jumped into action and ultimately 28 trucks of hay was sourced from the Riverina, funded by generous donors to the RRT.

The hay was trucked from Griffith and Cowra up the coast by convoy to Lismore.

Farmers Community Connect events have been hosted over several years by RRT as an effective way to provide direct relief and support to communities recovering from disaster, such as the floods, drought, and bushfire.

The events are community-focused including catering for locals to enjoy a hot meal and barista coffee, as well as community and support services.

In addition to the opportunity to grab a bite to eat, some feed for the farm and a hot coffee, it is also a valuable chance to connect with other community members facing the same challenge and have a chat.

The Lismore event was kindly supported by and in partnership with local dairy cooperative, Norco, Rotorwing Helicopter Services and the NSW Rural Assistance Authority.

The Plymouth Brethren Christian Church established RRT in 2013 to express its principles of care and compassion. It is staffed by Church volunteers who provide catering services at a range of charitable events and emergencies.

Globally, the RRT has more than 14,500 volunteers and operates in Australia, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, France, the United States, Canada and Germany.