Just Zilch moves to new home

The Tribune (NZ) - - NEWS - RICHARD MAYS

‘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

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