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23,000 Tegel Chickens Winging Their Way To City Missions Nationwide

Christmas will be a special feast for thousands of Kiwi families this year with 23,000 Tegel chickens winging their way to City Missions nationwide. The massive donation, worth about $140,000, has seen 10,000 frozen chickens go to the Christchurch City Mission, 8,000 to the Auckland City Mission and 5,000 to the Wellington City Mission.

Bon appétit! In Hornby, Vanessa Hainsworth, territory manager for Tegel Foods, helps pack up and deliver the 10,000 chickens for the Christchurch City Mission.

The donation was part of New World’s family2family campaign, with Tegel donating one 950gm chicken for every pack of Tegel Take Outs bought during a two-week period earlier in the year. Many of the chickens are being included in Christmas food hampers to help make the festive season a bit more special for families in need, while some were given out in food parcels during lockdown.

Angela Irwin, head of marketing for Tegel Foods, said the company was delighted to be involved in the family2family campaign. “Tegel chicken has been the go-to brand for Kiwi meals for three generations and is always a firm favourite at Christmas. We are so pleased to be helping the City Missions in our three main centres provide a top-notch festive feast for so many families.

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And, with Tegel celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, it’s a great way for us to share our family-focused approach as we celebrate our diamond jubilee.”

Christchurch City Mission social services manager Zucchi Leonard said the 10,000 chickens were a wonderful gift and one of the largest single protein donations the mission has ever had. “Protein donations are very important and valued by us because it’s so important to add to our food parcels to keep them as nutritious as possible. Protein fills bellies and helps our clients get through the day. It’s one thing we often struggle with.”

She said they were currently adding about 300 chickens a week to food parcels, and the size of the Tegel donation would enable the mission to feed people right through to early next year. “That will include the high demand of the Christmas period when they will be a special treat. We are so grateful to the Tegel crew.”

Auckland City Missioner Helen Robinson was also thrilled with the gastronomic gift. “Thanks to Tegel's generous donation of 8,000 whole chickens, Auckland City Mission will be able to include quality chicken in the Christmas food parcels provided to families in need during the festive season.”

Jeremy Neeve, general manager social enterprise for the Wellington City Mission, said the “amazing donation has been so well-received. We have already given some out to shoppers in our free Social Supermarket and are also using them in meals for visitors to our Community Lounge, while others will be included in our Christmas hampers.

“During the lockdowns, we couldn’t run as usual so we all became personal shoppers. People gave us a list of what they really needed, and we delivered the groceries to their home – contactless, of course. We made 631 deliveries during the first three weeks of lockdown and families were stoked there was the option of ordering a chicken! It was really quite something to see our freezers packed with chickens and that gave us enormous encouragement going in to lockdown. We are incredibly grateful.”

Neeve said the mission still had plenty of chickens ready to go out at Christmas too.


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