Dairy

Fonterra fund helps

By Country News

From vegie patches to cricket pitches and playgrounds to emergency equipment, Fonterra’s Grass Roots Fund is again looking to support community groups in northern Victoria in need of a helping hand.

Fonterra is calling on organisations around the company’s Stanhope site, and the surrounding dairy farming region, to apply for funding to help groups such as schools, Scouts and surf lifesaving clubs achieve their goals.

Fonterra Stanhope site manager Jason Wright said the fund was all about supporting groups that keep local communities thriving through a wide range of initiatives.

‘‘Groups like these are at the heart of every community, and behind them are people that are willing to roll up their sleeves to dig gardens, volunteer for emergency services and coach kids’ sport. They help to keep our rural towns alive and we’re lucky to have them,’’ Mr Wright said.

‘‘It’s these types of things that keep rural communities thriving — but they’re often underfunded.

‘‘So, the fund is our way of giving back and providing much-needed funds that help support the valuable work they do for our staff, our farming families and their neighbours.’’

Fonterra Grass Roots Fund recipients have included Echuca Specialist School, Kyabram and Girgarre Pre-school, Stanhope Primary School and Cooma Fire Brigade, who have installed vegie gardens, upgraded community areas and purchased emergency equipment.

The initiatives the fund supports are decided by a local committee based at Fonterra’s Stanhope site, with each project required to fit within one of three criteria — the initiative must bring communities together through rural activities and events, support healthy lifestyles such as sporting equipment for clubs, or care for the environment through projects such as recycling or tree planting.

Applications for grants between $500 and $5000 close on February 28 and can be submitted online.

■For more information, visit: www.fonterra.com.au