FARMERS HELP OUT HARD UP
How farms give to those in need
MOST people would be familiar with the two standard capsicum colours, red and green.
All capsicums start out green before maturing and transforming into the red colour, but some need to be picked before they fully mature. There’s nothing wrong with these capsicums, but they aren’t suitable for the market. For most farmers this means the produce goes to waste.
However, Tim Carnel from Kirra Pines has adopted an alternative solution, donating the produce to Foodbank.
Foodbank is an organisation which supplies food to thousands of Queenslanders who are doing it tough, including to places which hand out community meals and domestic violence refuges.
Mr Carnel said Foodbank was no additional cost for the farm and it was a great way to ensure they used the whole crop.
Foodbank supplies the bins to the farmers which are then collected by
Lindsay Transport before being taken to Brisbane.
He said the donations can sometimes include top-quality produce.
“If the markets are very well supplied it could be virtually grade one products that just doesn’t have a home because of supply and demand mechanics,” he said.
He said donating to Foodbank was something other farms should consider if possible.
“There is an opportunity there for a lot of people to get on board,” he said.
“Because it doesn’t cost anything to the business ... it’s a great way to see something like this happen which ordinarily wouldn’t happen if there was a cost involved.”
Foodbank Queensland CEO Michael Rose said the cause was a great alternative to having excess produce rot or get ploughed back in.
“Our frontline charity partners turned away over 4000 people each month last year due to insufficient food,” he said.
“They tell us that we need 35 per cent more to help meet current demand.
“We know we have a long way to go to ensure we help those in need and we can’t do that alone.
“The Foodbank Hunger Report shows the number of Queenslanders seeking food relief from our charity partners has increased 13 per cent year on year, the highest rate of increase in Australia.”
He said Foodbank Queensland can supply the bins, organise the collection and issue donations receipts to any farmer who wants to contribute to the cause.
OFF TO A NEW HOME: Tim Carnel with some capsicums being donated to Foodbank.