FROM veggie patches to cricket pitches and playgrounds to emergency equipment, Fonterra’s Grass Roots Fund is again looking to support community groups in northern Victoria.
The organisation is calling on movers and shakers near its Stanhope site and the surrounding dairy farming region to apply for funding to help groups such as schools, scouts and lifesaving clubs achieve their goals.
Fonterra Stanhope site manager Jason Wright said the fund is 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 who 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,’’ he 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.’’
In the past, Fonterra Grass Roots Fund recipients have included the Echuca Specialist School, the Kyabram and Girgarre preschools, the Stanhope Primary School and the Cooma Fire Brigade, helping them make improvements for the benefit of the community such as installing veggie gardens, upgrading community areas, and purchasing 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 are open until February 28 and can be submitted online. More information is available at fonterra.com.au