A North Otago farmer who is among the first in the country to contribute to a new meat donation service is hoping others will follow.

Meat the Need is a national charity designed to supply meat to City Missions and food banks.

The meat is donated by farmers, processed, packed and delivered to those most in need.

Altavady Farm's Kate Faulks was one of the first Silver Fern Farms farmers to support the cause, donating a cow and a beef steer.

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She is part of a North Otago family business made up of four farms: two dairy farms (Providence farm, Fortitude farm), one dairy support farm (Living Springs Farm) and one dairy support/beef farm (Altavady Farm).

"We all farm in the Waitaki within 15km of each other. All coming from various backgrounds, we chose careers in agriculture due to the huge opportunities and unique value proposition of New Zealand-made proteins. And of course, the attraction of raising our own families in the farming environment."

Faulks and husband Adam have managed the dairy support/beef unit for nearly two years.

"This has created a more meaningful link between our farming group as food producers — knowing that the food is going to those in our community who need it.

"What is cool about Meat the Need is that the founders have taken all the hard work out of donating quality protein.

"We have always wondered, how do we provide our community with perishable needs? You cannot donate mince at a supermarket..

"Meat the Need has created this really simple set up. For us as food producers, all we have to do is go online and donate stock and it is all taken care of."

Altavady Farms wanted to support the organisation and community, especially during Covid-19, by donating regularly and encouraging others to do the same.

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"We want to get the word out to communities and demonstrate how important it is that we support each other. It feels good to give.

"We have always wanted to find a way to get first-class protein to members in the community that really need it.

"Meat the Need has stepped in which allows us to know that our food is going to people who really, really need it," she said.

"The organisers of Meat the Need have done all the hard work pulling together the resources to bring this idea to life. The easy part is up to us as food producers, to put our hands up and either spread the word or make a donation when we can."

The initiative was founded by farmers Siobhan O'Malley (West Coast) and Wayne Langford (Golden Bay).