Help needed for citrus bounty
Aucklanders are being urged to roll up their sleeves — and climb the odd ladder – for a good cause.
With citrus trees across the city bursting with fruit, Community Fruit Harvesting needs neighbourhood co-ordinators around Auckland to manage fruit picking in their area.
The charity picks unwanted fruit from consenting homes to provide food for hungry families.
Founder and Auckland coodinator Di Celliers says the busiest time of year is citrus season from late June to the end of September.
‘‘The group has grown tremendously since I started it three years ago,’’ she says.
‘‘The existing team of coordinators can’t get to all the fruit we hear about, especially over the busy citrus season.
‘‘We hate fruit going to waste and would love to expand our network of coordinators to cover Auckland fully.’’
Co-ordinators need to be reliable, responsible and passionate about helping others.
The role involves managing requests to pick fruit from local gardens or orchards, organising volunteer pickers and arranging for the fresh fruit to be delivered to charities or preserved.
The fruit is distributed to foodbanks, the Salvation Army, schools and city missions.
About 40 people are involved in making jams and marmalades. So far 50,000kg of fruit has been collected and donated and about 5000 jars of preserves made.
Leigh Quadling-Miernik became a co-ordinator for Devonport and Takapuna two years ago. ‘‘I don’t have much money to give to charities but I can give time and work, so this is what I can do,’’ she says.
‘‘Picking fruit is something can do with my kids.
‘‘They enjoy running about picking and eating the fruit, love to see their efforts amount to full boxes of produce and enjoy the competition of finding the biggest
I apple, grapefruit or feijoa.
‘‘It doesn’t take too much time, is outside and teaches them to be charitable.’’
Coordinators also need to have their own transport.
Fruitful labour: Leigh Quadling-Miernik enjoys picking fruit to give to others.