Food char­ity in plea for wider range

The Leader (Nelson) - - YOUR HEALTH -

Kai Res­cue needs more greens, fruit, meat and dairy.

Kai Res­cue col­lects sur­plus food from su­per­mar­kets and other food pro­duc­ers, and dis­trib­utes it to lo­cal char­i­ties who cook free com­mu­nity meals or dis­trib­ute food parcels to their clients.

The group is part of a new ini­tia­tive run by Nel­son En­vi­ron­ment Cen­tre, with the aim of feed­ing fam­i­lies and in­di­vid­u­als who are in need, light­en­ing the load of lo­cal agen­cies who work with those in need, and re­duc­ing the stag­ger­ing amount of ed­i­ble food that ends up in our land­fills.

To date, in the 20 weeks since they be­gan in March this year, they have res­cued and dis­trib­uted over 28 tonnes of food that would other­wise have ended up in land­fill, or at best gone to feed the pigs.

The three lo­cal Count­down su­per­mar­kets, Tas­man Bay Food group and Proper Crisps were the first to agree to sup­ply their sur­plus food, and now Fresh Choice in Rich­mond, Rae­ward Fresh, L’Artisan and Devon bak­eries, Bid­food, Solan­der and others have joined up, as well as Com­mu­nity Fruit Har­vest­ing Nel­son and pri­vate in­di­vid­u­als.

Twenty-eight agen­cies are now reg­is­tered to pick up the boxes of food that have been sorted, weighed and packed into la­belled boxes.

They bring sto­ries of the mum who was keep­ing her chil­dren home from school be­cause she had noth­ing to give them for their lunches; the solo mum who had noth­ing for her son’s birth­day, and who was over­joyed by the de­liv­ery of a cake on that day; the woman who was able to buy some warm win­ter clothes for her fam­ily be­cause she didn’t have to spend all her money on food.

Thanks to a gen­er­ous do­na­tion from a pri­vate in­di­vid­ual, they have a re­frig­er­ated van that’s per­fect for trans­port­ing the food, and they have just had the Kai Res­cue sign painted on the van through another gen­er­ous do­na­tion.

Watch out for the Kai Res­cue van around town, pick­ing up the food and bring­ing it back to base.

How­ever, with the num­ber of reg­is­tered char­i­ties grow­ing, they have a prob­lem — they are well sup­plied with bread, buns and cakes, but des­per­ately need more fresh fruit and veg­eta­bles, dairy prod­ucts, meat and fish.

If you are a grower, vege shop, su­per­mar­ket, food dis­trib­u­tor, dairy farmer, butcher, fisher, or a pri­vate in­di­vid­ual with sur­plus pro­duce, please give them a ring; they can col­lect the food from you, or you can drop it off di­rectly to ECOLAND, 31 Van­guard Street; ph: 03-545 9176.

Also, if you have sur­plus fruit that you need help to har­vest, Com­mu­nity Fruit Har­vest­ing Nel­son can come and pick it for you.

The pur­pose of this char­ity is to fa­cil­i­tate the shar­ing of fruit from our own back­yards and or­chards.

The fruit is shared with the owner of the fruit tree and the rest dis­trib­uted to char­i­ties. Con­tact Diana Parr, pick­fruit­nel­, 03-546 6825 to ar­range.

The team from Kai Res­cue.

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