According to Mangonui and Kaitaia Lions clubs, many locations south of Nelson are in dire need of citrus fruit and people can't afford to buy it.
Guided by their national motto, We Serve, volunteers at Lions Club Mangonui and Kaitaia are tackling the problem hands-on.
Lions club volunteers are organising the local abundance of citrus and sending it down the line with Mainfreight (Kaitaia).
The logistics and transport company has donated 6 tonnes of free freight to take the fruit to any of their South Island depots, which local Lions club volunteers then distribute to those most in need.
And they're calling on all of the generosity Far North citrus tree owners can spare.
Any sweet varieties of orange, tangelo, mandarin, lemon, lime and grapefruit will be gratefully accepted.
The Lions are also happy to hear from people who may not be able to pick their own fruit, as volunteers can come out and lend a hand.
The collaborative effort is supported by Hammer Hardware and Bloomfield Garden Centre, which accepts donations on Sundays.
Mangonui Lions Club secretary John Matthews is managing the citrus project and said the project was a new take on a longstanding Lions club idea.
"There has been a Lions project on the go near Whangārei for the last 20 years, which gets something like 150 volunteers on one day for a big event," Matthews said.
"They send down 8 tonnes of citrus from that one day, which Lions club volunteers in Christchurch work to distribute.
"Can you imagine how much fruit they receive all at once?" he laughed.
Rather than making jams, juices or freezing their fruit, South Island recipients of this drive will ideally enjoy a slow and steady supply of fresh citrus.
"We'll do this over 12 weeks, so people get it slowly to use it while fresh," Matthews said.
"We're just a little club sending one half-tonne per week, until we've used up all the space donated by Mainfreight or the season has ended."
The first shipment of citrus travelled south just after the Queen's Birthday weekend, and included something special.
"We sent kumara from Kenana Marae and they loved it; they don't get it down there," Matthews said.
"It was received at Cromwell and they were just delighted."
Matthews, who has been a volunteer with Lions Club Mangonui since 2018, said the project involved plenty of negotiation, planning and organisation.
"This project is taking quite a lot of my time, and I also support other volunteers' projects," he said.
"It feels good to do things that reward people with the benefit of my time."
Matthews also said the Lions club is one of the few remaining volunteer organisations in the Far North, and was looking for more members.
"I've heard people say they were far too young to join Lions - they were 48 - but that's a misconception," he explained.
"Empty-nesters are good volunteer candidates because they suddenly have free time.
"And they get to meet people. An awful lot of living well up here is in the relationships you have.
"Anyone who's happy to volunteer their time is welcome."
Citrus fruit can be dropped off on Sundays at the following locations:
Hammer Hardware, Coopers Beach, from 9-11am
Bloomfield Garden Centre, Aurere, from 8.30-11am
Bryce's Black Shed, 127 North Rd, Kaitaia, (behind D McKenzie Welding, just south of Mainfreight) from 12-2pm.
Volunteers collect, package, load and shrink-wrap donations onto pallets every Sunday afternoon, which are then delivered to the Mainfreight depot in preparation for Monday's first available spot on a truck headed south.
Matthews thanked the businesses accepting donations, Mainfreight, and everyone who had already generously donated their fruit.
"They need all we can send," Matthews said.
People who have fruit growing but are unable to pick it are welcome to call Bryce McDonald of Kaitaia Lions (027 492 4567) or Graham Stanaway of Mangonui Lions (09 406 2414).
Lions clubs are also happy to hear from individuals or organisations in need of donations of labour or funding and are keen to support local community projects however they can.
For more information, connect with Mangonui Lions through their Facebook page, or contact John on 0275682188.