Just Zilch moves to new home
‘Just Zilch needs $15,000’ was our loud front page headline [ Tribune, December 2].
The re-fitted Featherston St premises for the city’s free-food store was $15,000 shy of having cold storage facilities.
In rolled a further $4000 and an offer from Coca Cola to provide temporary ‘cool’ accommodation for donated dairy and frozens.
‘‘They’ve said they’ll give us three fridges,’’ reveals Just Zilch founder and director Rebecca Culver. She’s expecting them to be in place for today’s reopening.
The shop closed on Friday so the move could be completed and the new store organised. As many as 20 volunteers turned up to load the new store and clean up the old.
Last month Rebecca was hospitalised for two weeks, leaving much of the planning for the refit and the move in the hands of store manager Ben Sutherland, assistant Darren Spring and a team of highly motivated volunteers.
‘‘They have really stepped up and done a fantastic job. We couldn’t have managed this without them.’’
A letter, published in Conversations on P11 expresses her gratitude for the outpouring of goodwill towards Just Zilch, especially from the business community,
This support from numerous businesses and buy-in from the City Council have ensured the store’s continued operation.
‘‘If you ever wanted a truly community built store – this is it.’’
Her letter also outlines why Just Zilch is necessary – not just providing free food to around 150 people per day people on a no judgement basis, but ensuring that large amounts of perfectly good left-over food are kept out of landfill.
‘‘It’s interesting how Just Zilch has become part of the Palmerston North landscape,’’ Rebecca says. ‘‘It’s not that free food stores aren’t necessary in other centres, they are... but the idea needs to have a champion behind it, and Palmerston North is ideal because we’re a distribution hub.
‘‘But we are doing something special here in Palmerston North.’’
Just Zilch is open 50 weeks of the year and closes on Christmas Eve at 6pm, reopening on January 11.
For the twelfth year, the appeal has been supplemented by the MidCentral Health Board tree in the entranceway to Palmerston North Hospital, where nonperishable food and grocery items can also be left for the food bank.
Manawatu residents are being asked to dig deep and see if they can crack 6100 gifts this year to help meet the national target of 50,000. The local total stands at just over 1000 donations.
Allan Clark from the Salvation Army’s Manawatu corps says some families go into debt to provide Christmas, and this becomes a big problem in the new year.
Kmart Palmerston North manager, Jonathan Malone, is confident the Kiwi spirit of giving will come into its own during the last week of the appeal.
‘‘We hope that people spare a thought for those in need and give generously to our Wishing Tree Appeal,’’ Jonathan says.
Just Zilch assistant manager Darren Spring (left) and one of around 20 volunteers heft an item of furniture through the space in the new Featherston St store where the cold storage facility will be set up Jonathan Malone Kmart Palmerston North