Sandy Thorstensen has helped run the Dannevirke Toy Library for most of the 33 years since it was established in 1984.

The library is reliant on community and government funding and recently received a Fonterra Grass Roots grant to purchase a miniature John Deere tractor and trailer.

This has proven to be very popular with the children and quickly became a favourite for 2-year-old Eli Frankcom.

"We are really grateful to Fonterra for having the Grass Roots fund available and this donation means we are able to keep upgrading our toys," Sandy said.


Membership numbers have increased at the toy library and now sit at 50, with 34 regulars and a few grandparents who take advantage of the top-quality toys available.

"It's very handy for grandparents to be able to grab stuff for weekends and such like," Sandy said.

Tony Haslett, Fonterra's area manager for Hawke's Bay, said community organisations were encouraged to apply for assistance from the Fonterra Grass Roots programme.

The fund supports projects, ideas and initiatives which bring our rural communities together and make them better, safer and more vibrant places.

The fund has supported more than 1800 initiatives since it was established in 2007.

Funding has provided everything from worm farms and recycling facilities for local schools to seedlings for riparian planting and equipment for emergency response services.

The fund opens doors for a wide range of community projects with grants of between $500 and $5000.