There’s a good reason to eat at the Wicklow and the New England Hotel (Newie’s) today. For every chicken parmigiana sold, a dollar goes to help drought-affected farmers.
“A lot of people are in trouble out there,” owner Nick Ingham-Myers said, “so it really hit home for us.”
The Ingham-Myers family have signed up with charity Rural Aid to raise money. They saw that the Australian Hotels’ Association had joined Buy a Bale, running a Parma for a Farmer campaign throughout Australia.
“We thought we’d get behind it,” Mr Ingham-Myers said, “and donate a dollar from every parmi sold to that cause.
“I'd be happy if we sold 80 parmies at the Wicklow today, but if we sold 200 it'd be even better.
“That’s the start of what we’ll do.”
Next week, the Newies will join Coopers, Australia’s largest independently owned brewery, to sell Ale for a Bale.
A dollar for every schooner of Coopers Pale Ale, Mild Ale, and Session Ale will go to farmers.
“Nobody’s doing Ale for a Bale at this stage,” Mr Ingham-Myers said, “but we’re going to try to get that going. It’s another way to raise money. That could get quite high; we do sell a lot of Coopers up there, as it is.”
Depending on how today goes, the Wicklow might do Parma for a Farmer next week, too.
"We'll see how the kitchen copes with it all,” Mr Ingham-Myers said. “It's a bit of pressure to put on the guys in there, but they are very good at what they do.
“We'll see what we can do in the coming weeks, as well, because it is a good cause; everybody's getting behind it at the moment.”
Mr Ingham-Myers hopes other pubs in town will join in.
“The more people doing it, the better! We've got a lot of pubs in Armidale, and I know the people of Armidale want to help out.
“If we all did our bit, we can be that medium where people know they can come and make a donation, and it'll go to the right place.
“We're happy to be part of it – and as long as they need the help, we'll be there willing to help them.”