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Support Australian farmers by buying dinner

Written by
Jordi Kretchmer

Currently Australia is enduring one of the harshest droughts of the decade, with 2018 being the fourth-driest winter since the Bureau of Meteorology started taking records. The entirety of NSW is now officially listed as being in drought, and considering the state produces about 25 per cent of Australia's agricultural output, the drought's effects have reverberated across communities, and many farmers are struggling to feed their livestock. Here in Victoria, our northwestern regions are now in their 15th month of below-average rainfall.  

So how can you help out? The good news is you can help while also feeding yourself. The Parma for a Farmer initiative cropped up in Melbourne and has spread right across the country, with venues donating a portion or all profits from the classic counter meal to the Buy a Bale initiative.

Throughout August, a bunch of venues will be donating a $1 from every chicken parmigiana sold – so you can head into the likes of Auburn Hotel, the Provincial, College Lawn Hotel and the Crafty Squire for a feel-good feed. The Retail Savvy Group (which includes venues like Father’s Office, the Shaw Davey Slum and Asian Beer Caféwill also be giving $1 towards farmer assistance for every parma sold.

Over at the Flying Duck Hotel in Prahran you can try one of Time Out's best Melbourne parmas while also helping farmers, with $1 from every parma going towards drought relief efforts. In the north, Brunswick beer garden-cum-nightclub the Penny Black will be donating money from parmas, as will southside night spot Lucky Coq. Time Out Melbourne’s former pub of the year, the Palace Hotel, is participating in the initiative, as is the eclectic live music gem of Sydney Road, the Retreat Hotel.

Vegetarian or (*shudder*) don’t enjoy parmas? Sand Hill Road venues like Garden State Hotel, the Bridge Hotel, Terminus Hotel and the Prahran Hotel are donating $1 from every pot or pint of Carlton Draught or Balter sold on August 31 between 5pm and 7pm (they’re also donating $1 from parmas sold at their venues throughout August).

Abbotsford's Aviary Hotel is also donating money from all parmas sold during August, as well as keeping a jar at the bar for additional donations. South Melbourne's Golden Fleece Hotel and Northcote's Peacock Inn Hotel are jumping on the bale-buying bandwagon too, with $1 from their parmas heading off to farmers. 

Not to be outdone, several venues at Crown Casino are donating $2 to the Buy a Bale initiative too. Tucking into a parma at Cotta, Emporio Pasta, the Pub, Riverside Bistro or Margo's Café will help farmers doing it tough. 

For more feel-good vibes take a look at where to volunteer in Melbourne.

Or for more drinks check out the city's 50 best pubs.

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