A Whangarei charity is helping feed the hungry by collecting unwanted backyard fruit and vegetables.
Community Fruit Harvesting Whangarei gathers unused produce and gives it to charities who share it with people in need. The organisation is asking Whangarei residents with extra summer fruit in the garden to get in touch.
"We currently have volunteers waiting to pick the fruit and give it to charity, but we need offers of fruit to pick," says Emma Scobie-Jennings, Community Fruit Harvesting Whangarei co-ordinator.
"If you have fruit on your tree now that you can't use, or you know the fruit will be ripening soon, please let us know. What we can't use fresh in food parcels will be turned into jam and chutney, so nothing goes to waste."
The group was set up mid-2012 and last winter the team of 12 volunteers picked masses of fruit, most of which was distributed to Food for Life Northland, which provides free nutritious meals to the needy and hot lunches to two schools in Whangarei, feeding about 350 children. Some of the donations also went to Whangarei Kai Kids, who make lunch packs for schools to give to students who don't have lunch.
"It's good to know that Community Fruit Harvesting is helping people and families who need a hand and also preventing food from going to waste."
The organisation also needs volunteers to pick fruit and prepare chutney and jam: "It feels good to give to those less fortunate."
People with fruit, those available to pick fruit and keen to volunteer can contact Emma on 022-1259112 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org