Fast food relief effort a big success in quake-ravaged Kaikoura

By Sarah Harris

Fast food has flooded quake-torn Kaikoura after one man's mission to make kids smile succeeded.

Mountains of food was delivered to Takahanga marae at lunch time today.

Nelson plasterer Rob Coombes, 49, had the idea a few days ago when thinking about all the people going through such a rough time. He called businesses around the region and hauled together a load of donated goods that he flew down to the coastal town.

"There's necessities, but with kids you need a bit more than bread and water.

"I just thought I'd fill the plane with junk food and bring a little bit of happiness to the place."

The plane landed chocka with 400 pieces of KFC chicken, 300 McDonald's burgers, 50 Domino's pizza, soccer balls and more lollies than "Santa's sled could carry".

The first thing that came to 9-year-old TK Manawatu's mind was "man that's some good food".

He's stoked the "real nice" man bought his favourite food - McDonald's cheese burgers.

Members of the public line up at Takahanga Marae in Kaikoura to feast on the fast food flown into Kaikoura. Photo / Alan Gibson
Members of the public line up at Takahanga Marae in Kaikoura to feast on the fast food flown into Kaikoura. Photo / Alan Gibson

Coombes said the manager of KFC and McDonald's rang him in support of the idea and their staff started work two hours earlier to prepare the feast. Some staff even donated out of their own pocket.

"It's just being a good human being," Coombes said.

Val McLean helped transport the food to the marae. She thinks Coombes is "such a darling" for organising this.

"It's just amazing. It puts a smile on your face."

The plasterer wanted to thank the organisations that had helped make it happen like Stonewood Homes, McDonald's, KFC, the Warehouse in Richmond and Nelson, Smith City, Nelson Plaster Board Services and the Accounting Department Nelson.

"Everyone just got together and made it happen."

- NZ Herald

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