A new charity aims to get donated farmers' produce to food banks around the country.
Farmers Siobhan O'Malley and Wayne Langford have founded Meat the Need, a charity they say will help farmers give generously to other New Zealanders who are being hit by the economic fall out from Covid-19 and the lockdown.
"It has always felt not quite right that we farmers feed so many millions overseas, but there are still people hungry in New Zealand," said co-founder O'Malley.
A year in the making, Meat the Need aimed to smooth out supply for food banks so they got quality food, in regular amounts that they could plan around, and also to allow farmers to give at seasonal times when they were able.
"We are all about Kiwi farmers, feeding Kiwi families," said co-founder Langford.
The first initiative being rolled out is providing 500g packets of quality beef mince to food banks.
Listen to our interview with Meat the Need below:
Farmers are encouraged to donate livestock via the Meat the Need website (meattheneed.org), or via the stock agents of their founding partners, Silver Fern Farms.
"Thanks to partnering with Silver Fern Farms, we are able to accept sheep, deer and cattle, and turn them into mince for Kiwi families that need a hand," said Langford.
Industry partnerships across the sector had been vital to getting this initiative up and running, with support for this first phase not just from Silver Fern Farms, but also from DairyNZ, Federated Farmers and Beef + Lamb, they said.
"A number of individual farmers and groups like AgProudNZ have also been in touch to see how they can help, so we are really excited to see how farmers can have an impact," said O'Malley.
Board Members for Meat the Need are both co-founders, Jessie Chan, Julia Jones, Richard Luxton, and Cheyenne Wilson.