A temporary supermarket pledged for Walgett

Walgett adapts and recovers after the town's only supermarket burnt down

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CWA Walgett president, Jane Friend and secretary Chris Ford drop off a Foodbank hamper to a local resident. Photo supplied.

CWA Walgett president, Jane Friend and secretary Chris Ford drop off a Foodbank hamper to a local resident. Photo supplied.

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300 food hampers given to pensioners in Walgett.

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The community, shire council, state government and charity organisations have rallied to get Walgett back on its feet after its only supermarket burnt down at the start of the month.

Foodbank NSW & ACT has delivered 300 food hampers from Aldi, to the Walgett Country Women's Association to distribute to the community.

Related reading: Walgett IGA destroyed, exclusion zone in place

President of the Walgett CWA, Jane Friend said they had decided to deliver the hampers to pensioners in the community.

"They'll be the ones that the hampers will make the biggest difference to," Mrs Friend said.

"They will have the hardest time getting to supermarkets elsewhere.

"We plan to hand deliver them and are working with the council on that."

Mrs Friend said throughout the drought many CWA branches had been given the job of deciding who is most eligible to receive donations of food, money and personal care items.

"It's a really difficult job and I think all CWA branches that have been overwhelmed with donations during this drought have really struggled with that," Mrs Friend said.

"You can never get it entirely right."

Mrs Friend said Agricultural Minister, Adam Marshall, the Walgett Shire council and local businesses had been very proactive in putting services in place following the fire.

"I think we're doing really well," she said.

"The butcher's taken up the veggies, the vegetable man comes a couple of times a week, chicken is coming in from Coonamble on Fridays.

"Adam Marshall's office has lots of things in place like free bus services to Coonamble and Lightening Ridge to go shopping."

The Agricultural Minister last week pledged $50,000 to help establish a temporary supermarket in Walgett.

Mr Marshall said the money will go towards the rent of new premises and essential items like refrigerators.

"Locals here are a resilient bunch and it has been wonderful to see locals and council band together and display such wonderful community spirit," Mr Marshall said.

Mr Marshall's office said Walgett Shire Council would operate the emergency supermarket while a new local supermarket is built.

Mrs Friend welcomed the news as she said one of the biggest repercussions from the supermarket fire was residents spending less money in town.

"Once people go out of town to grocery shop they'll probably do other shopping while they're there, go to the chemist, hardware store in other towns instead of Walgett," she said.

Mrs Friend said there was also concern for the IGA employees who lost their jobs.

She said she hoped the IGA owners would be able to re-establish the supermarket as opposed to bringing in new owners so employees could be reinstated easily.

"A lot of them were only on casual contracts so one day they had a job and the next day they didn't."

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