Wilcannia, in the state’s far west, has recorded more than 50 cases – about seven per cent of the town’s population – of the virus since it entered the community in NSW’s most recent outbreak.
The fundraising page, titled Far West NSW Fresh Fruit & Veggie Covid-19, was set up by Wilyakali woman Taunoa Bugmy from Broken Hill in a bid to raise money to help provide COVID affected families with supplies and fresh food.
“This is a community disaster, our people might be strong in spirituality but physically this will really test the strength and resilience of our people,” Ms Bugmy wrote on the page
She said the community was also currently battling overcrowding, AOD addictions, minimum wages and water supply shortages.
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Wilcannia boasts a population of about 550 people – the majority of which are Indigenous.
The GoFundMe page was flooded with donations, surpassing its goal of raising $250,00 as it currently sits at $252,158.
Ms Bugmy said so far the money raised had bought fresh produce and meat for families most impacted by the pandemic to help them through the week – with the army having also handed out food packages to families.
“But that needs to be shared among three remote communities and that won’t last,” she wrote.
“If you can help in any way it will go a long way to take care of these families. Any donation is a blessing.”
A GoFundMe page set up to fund supplies for vulnerable families affected by COVID in the remote town of Wilcannia has raised more than $250,000. Picture: Getty Images
Wilcannia teacher, Sarah Donnelley said the COVID-19 pandemic had threatened the town since its outset, news.com.au reported.
“The reality of our context, being in a remote location, we don’t have Uber Eats, we don’t have delivery services,” she said.
“We knew there would be families in crisis that wouldn’t have had enough in the cupboard or at home to be prepared for the situation.”
Wilcannia’s closest supermarket is located at Broken Hill – a two hour drive away.
Additional health workers, ADF personnel and police had been deployed to the town to boost limited local resources, according to Barwon MP Roy Butler.
Mr Butler further stressed the township was one of the most disadvantaged in NSW.
‘Still concerns in regional rural NSW’ amid lockdown extension
A second GoFundMe page has been organised to raise funds for supplies to boost the spirit of the challenged community.
“It is a beautiful place but extremely vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19 as much of the population suffers from underlying health conditions,” organiser Alex Still wrote on the page.
The appeal for donations details the nearest hospital is in Broken Hill while the closest COVID specialty ward is located in Adelaide – an eight hour drive from Wilcannia.
“I am asking for donations that will be used for supplies such as puzzles, cards, activity books, seeds, Lego, craft products, face masks and hand sanitiser that will be packaged and sent to Wilcannia for distribution to this brilliant but under threat community,” Still wrote.
The page has currently raised $5,865. 
The regional and rural NSW lockdown is slated to end on September 10 after being extended multiple times due to concerns about the number of infections in the state’s west. 
Growing outbreak in NSW’s west is ‘concerning’ but ‘resources are there’

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