Food parcels needed as drought drains family fundsNeroli Roocke, Wednesday October 16, 2013 - 17:42 EDT
Community groups and charities are reporting a surge in requests from Queensland farming families for food.
Most of the western half of the state has been officially in drought since May.
Charles Alder is part of a network which includes Aussie Helpers and Buy a Bale, working to collect, package and deliver groceries.
He says families have been spending all they can on keeping sheep and cattle alive.
"They're keeping whatever money they have for feed if they can.
"The balancing act between living expenses and running the property in many cases is seeing families live on packets of pasta a day.
"We're also finding the townspeople are earning less, because there's less work to do so employers are finding it hard to keep paying people or keep the hours up so families are being squeezed.
"We're seeing it particularly in the Hughenden, Richmond, Julia Creek, Mt Isa areas, that part of the state predominantly, but we're starting to receive smaller numbers of calls from other parts of the state."
Mr Alder says Foodbank and private companies are donating tinned and packaged food but donations and volunteers are needed.
© ABC 2013
More breaking news
Thousands of north Queenslanders are being evacuated as Cyclone Debbie bears down on the coast, bringing winds of up to 300 kilometres per hour and possibly a four-metre storm surge.
Evacuations have been ordered in coastal towns and communities in the Whitsundays and Burdekin regions in north Queensland as Tropical Cyclone Debbie bears down, with authorities warning of damaging tidal surges.
Tropical Cyclone Debbie continues to strengthen over the Coral Sea as Queensland residents prepare for destructive weather in the days ahead.