Need for Feed – Lions delivering for farmers in need

Need for Feed was established in 2006 in response to what was at that time the driest period on record. At that time, reportedly three farmers per week around Australia were taking their own lives and many others walking off the land, unable to cope with circumstances beyond their control.  

Lions member Graham Cockerell, had lost his own father years before to farm related suicide, and didn’t want see other farmers and their families go through the same heartbreak.  

The point is, says Graham, “My father wasn’t a bad farmer, in fact quite the opposite; He found himself in circumstances beyond his control where he could see no other way out”.   

Graham had given away one small truckload of his own hay to a group of farmers burnt out in East Gippsland. When he saw the scale of the destruction and spoke to those affected, he returned home determined to do something about it. He talked to his Lions Club, got them on board and rounded up a group of mates to get involved with the fundraising and finding more hay.  

The Need for Feed team came to the rescue during the Black Saturday bushfires in 2009 and have continued on each year through fires, floods and droughts to provide fodder and raising funds to keep the trucks rolling.  

​The response to the latest drought has seen well over 1300 truckloads of fodder worth around 12 million dollars delivered to farmers totally free of charge into all of the eastern states including Tasmania and South Australia, along with more than 700 truckloads with a value of at least $6.5 million for those affected by last summer’s horrific fires. Over 90 truckloads have now been delivered to support those impacted by the current floods with more deliveries planned. 

These deliveries are usually accompanied by household hampers, personal care packs, Lions teddies and toys for the kids, and food for our best mates. Every farm has at least one dog! 

Now in its 15th. Year, Need for Feed take great pride not only in being managed 100% by Lions volunteers but also last year being adopted as a national Project of Lions Australia.  

The core group of Lions members on our committee are involved on pretty much a daily basis with over 200 regular volunteers.

Lions Disaster Relief Australia Project – supporting veterans and rebuilding communities

Lions volunteers are committed to doing what they can to help others and make a difference in the community and the organisation has a proud history of mobilising to help communities in times of crisis.  

Lions are always amongst the first to help and are still there when the smoke clears. We saw this with the recent bushfires. Volunteers on the ground were cooking meals for the fire fighters and providing food and essential items to affected residents whilst Lions clubs right across Australia immediately starting-shaking buckets and holding fundraisers for the national appeal.   

Lions Australia is proud to be partnering with Disaster Relief Australia, an organisation which unites the skills and experience of military veterans to rapidly deploy disaster relief teams in Australia and around the world.   

Disaster Relief Australia CEO Geoffrey Evans says the partnership will benefit both veterans, Lions clubs and the wider community. 

“Through Disaster Relief Australia, military veterans, emergency responders and motivated civilians can volunteer their time to assist with emergency and disaster relief operations. This not only helps communities devastated by disasters, but it also helps Australian veterans find purpose through community service,” he said.  

“Everyday Lions Clubs across Australia change lives and make the community a better place to live. Partnering with Lions Australia will provide veterans the opportunity to get involved in the incredible projects and initiatives lead by Lions clubs. It will also provide Lions clubs with skilled and experienced volunteers that can help continue and grow the wonderful work they are doing in the community,” Geoffrey added.  

Lions volunteers pay membership fees to cover admin costs which means 100% of funds donated to Lions club goes directly towards the cause.   

For more information on Disaster Relief Australia visit