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Meat The Need - A Charity Making It Simple For Farmers To Donate Meat To The Most Vulnerable

Just four months after launching, Meat the Need has been overwhelmed with the support and response from farmers. Meat the Need is a charity set up to make it simple for farmers to donate meat to the most vulnerable in their local communities and urban centres. It’s founding partner Silver Fern Farms processes the livestock, providing 500g parcels of mince for local food banks and city missions.

Co-Founder Wayne Langford said, “It’s always nerve wrecking setting up something a little out of the box like this, wondering whether farmers will get on board with donations. To see them coming in the way they have is just fantastic, I’m so thankful.”

In the past four months there have been over 600 animals donated, both through livestock donations directly to Silver Fern Farms and virtual animal donations online at www.meattheneed.org

These generous donations, as well as an initial 5 tonne mince donation by Silver Fern Farms, have been used to fill foodbanks’ freezers across the South Island.

“In total that’s over 325,000 meals already donated by farmers for those who, for one reason or another, are doing it tough at this time,” says Langford, “It’s just incredible to think how many lives that’s impacting.”

Many of the donations so far have come from the South Island, reflecting the tough farming conditions in the North through the Autumn. Co-Founder Siobhan O’Malley says, “This charity was set up for farmers to donate if and when they can. We understand no year is the same as the last and we can appreciate the extremely dry conditions in the North last season.”

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Initial plans were to provide mince for Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland. Strong feedback from farmers to provide for their rural communities first has seen Meat the Need branch out across the South Island. Some selected spots in the North Island have already begun receiving mince, Palmerston North, Paeroa and Rotorua with many other destinations being worked on for September.

“It was really important we got our logistics right,” said O’Malley, “It’s not easy shipping a frozen product around the country. We thought we would iron out any kinks in the system before moving to the North Island later this month.”

Meat the Need is now preparing for the busy processing season ahead. Both O’Malley and Langford are farmers and have been calving down their dairy herds this Spring. “As farmers we are really proud of what we produce, and we want to share just a small part of that with our communities to help ensure they are happy and healthy,” said Langford

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