COUNTRY COMFORT: Marlene Owen and Tony Stewart stock up for their next delivery to drought-hit outback Queensland.
COUNTRY COMFORT: Marlene Owen and Tony Stewart stock up for their next delivery to drought-hit outback Queensland. Arthur Gorrie

Good will 'the most important gift of all'

THE generosity of Gympie people and businesses in keeping drought-stricken farmers at least hopeful has not gone unnoticed.

And the people who have taken some of that generosity and turned it into practical support were hard at it again yesterday, stocking up at Gympie's Drakes supermarket for another delivery of groceries and good will.

"We took up $8000 to $10,000 worth of groceries last trip and I think we've probably delivered up to $200,000 worth so far,” Gympie Droughtrunners founder and stalwart Tony Stewart said yesterday.

Only just back from from the outback, Mr Stewart and volunteer Marlene Owen were already stocking up yesterday to make another delivery of good will.

Mr Stewart said their delivery trips have been met by real gratitude from people on the land who have been suffering psychological as well as financial distress.

And the gift of good will was sometimes the most important of all, he said.

Mr Stewart said none of the work he is doing would be possible without the generosity of a lot of Gympie region people and businesses.

That particularly includes "Mooloo Mountain Produce and Saddlery, Drakes Gympie, Gympie Hayrunners and all who have donated to the drought cause this past week,” Mr Stewart said.

"Fresh fruit, veges, flour, necessities and personal toiletries,” Mr Stewart said as he summed up much of the cargo he has been delivering.

"It's very sad to see,” Mrs Owen said of the near-desert country that was good grazing not that long ago.

"But we can do our bit,” she said.

"It's only a drop in the ocean compared to what people need, but we can only do our best,” she said.

Gympie Times

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