Harvesting the fruits of endeavour
It’s been an epic autumn for Community Fruit Harvest Manawatu. As word of our activities spread, great opportunities have come our way. Our volunteers have rescued literally tonnes of excess apples, pears, potatoes and pumpkins from farms and orchards around the area. This produce has gone to families who need food.
The biggest event, harvesting apples and pears, drew 60 volunteers, and some teachers brought students along to help pick as an opportunity to help the community, and get amongst food production. There were groups of preschool children, a special needs transition class, and a class of migrant students learning English.
We have increased the number of distribution points for food to be shared in the city – Roslyn library and Helping Hands Manawatu have given away trailerloads of food in the past couple of weeks. Food has also been distributed to Te Paatikitiki, Te Whare Koha, The Legacy Centre, Te Aroha Noa, Bulls Information Centre, various schools and kindergartens, Salvation Army Foodbank and St Vincent de Paul, among others.
We have worked closely with Just Zilch, who have helped with finding volunteers, transporting, storing and distributing the pro- duce. Without their support and infrastructure, we would not have managed the sheer volume of food suddenly available. Even with Just Zilch’s help, there was food left behind which we did not have capacity to collect.
A couple came over from Whanganui to help pick pumpkins in Bulls and were so inspired they went home and started their own Community Fruit Harvest group for their area. They came back to Palmerston North four days later to help pick apples. They took a trailer load of fruit and potatoes back to Whanganui to share and to help kick-start their group.
This increase in opportunities means CFH needs more volunteers. We have lots of great ideas for encouraging more sharing, and we’d love people to come on board and help with promotion and co-ordination.
To learn more or help out, check out Community Fruit Harvest Manawatu on Facebook or contact Madz on 329 7806 or email email@example.com
Harvest bounty – there were so many apples, Community Fruit Harvest ran out of boxes. This group of volunteers from a local English language school picked this huge pile in about an hour.