The Big Feed Raises More Than 700 Thousand Meals For Food Banks Nationwide
The Big Feed rural telethon has raised over 700 thousand meals for food banks across the country, with donations still rolling in and lines still open.
The 14-hour live telethon hosted by Dave Letele, Matt Chisholm and Wayne Langford was streamed online from 6am to 8pm from The Hub at Lincoln University.
Meat the Need co-founder Langford said it was an incredible day and a heartwarming result, despite it being a tough financial time for farmers and communities up and down the country.
“It was fantastic to get to over 700 thousand mince and milk meals for the event itself and with donation lines open, we’re still counting and still hoping people can keep giving to grow this number,” he said.
With 14 hours of interviews, entertainment, challenges, competitions and discussions, fundraising events and The Hickey Tour (an attempt to hitch-hike from South Auckland to Lincoln in a day), it made it hard to choose just one highlight from the telethon.
“It really hit home and reminded us why we do this to hear the emotional stories like Leasso from the Salvation Army, to hear first-hand accounts of how difficult it is and what it means to receive support. It was great to have food banks play a part in the telethon, to raise awareness of how much demand there is out there.”
"I'm still smiling at Sam McIvor, Beef + Lamb CEO riding the bike, (an office challenge) during his interview and almost giving himself a heart attack, to pulling The Black Ferns off the training field outside and getting them in on the couch. Seven challenges throughout the day provided extra entertainment for the viewers, a competitive battle between me and Chisolm, despite flat out cheating on his part. Being able to also recognise and highlight our incredible sponsors, Rural Business Supporters and partners was amazing.”
Seeing the country support the cause and fill food banks throughout the country was quite emotional to witness and be a part of, he said. Fonterra and Miraka made dairy donations, Silver Fern Farms, chipped in twice before the end of the day and ANZCO donated 1 tonne of mince for every landmark hit on the Hickey hitch hiking tour as it made its way down the country.
This totalled 13 tonne, an incredible 104,000 meals. Farm Right’s managed farms gave a cow from every farm, a $30,000 donation, while the Federated Farmers Board emptied their own pockets to the tune of $10,000 under the condition Langford got a cow tattoo. Chisolm didn’t get off lightly, ending the day with a green mohawk, thanks to a similar condition from Ballance Agri - Nutrients.
Langford says the lines are still open and will remain open until Christmas if people want to donate to a worthy cause. Just visit meattheneed.org to learn more or make a quick donation by texting “feed” to 3493 to give $3 instantly.
“We live in a country that produces so much food, it fills me with pride to see our communities seeing the need, to Meat the Need and help try make sure no one goes hungry.”