The next six months will see real hardship in communities says a meat company boss who has donated 10 tonnes of export quality mince to charities and is encouraging other corporates to step up.
Greenlea Premier Meats managing director Tony Egan said the Waikato company would regularly review community food need from now on because families were starting to struggle amid virus-driven unemployment and household food shortages.
The meat, in 1kg and 500g packages, would retail for more than $100,000 and has been delivered to the Salvation Army and St Vincent de Paul in Hamilton to distribute. Local refrigerated transport company Halls Roadways delivered the meat for free.
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"We will probably do more because in the next six months there's going to be real hardship in our community. We're hearing that people who had some food stocked away at the start of the lockdown are now running out and social agencies are gearing up for requests for help," said Egan.
"I really just want to encourage corporates and others to show community spirit at this time."
Egan said at least one Greenlea farmer supplier so far had donated two cattle, valued at nearly $2000, to the effort.
Greenlea, a family-owned beef processor and exporter, employs more than 360 people at plants in Hamilton and Morrinsville.
It is operating through the lockdown as an essential industry.
Greenlea is well-known in the region for its philanthropy.
The company heavily sponsors the central North Island rescue helicopter and is a major community benefactor through its Greenlea Foundation Trust.