Farmer-Run Food Charity Notes Demand is Increasing

Founded in early 2020, the Meat the Need charity has supplied meat for more than 760,000 meals across the country. The charity takes donated livestock from farmers and processes it into premium mince, which is then donated to food banks nationwide.

Golden Bay dairy farmer Wayne Langford co-founded Meat the Need with Motueka Valley-based sharemilker Siobhan O'Malley.

Langford said it expected the high demand for donated meat to drop over time, but it had not.

"We're not seeing the drop away we were hoping to see after the Covid-19 lockdowns, so we're clearly going to go through quite a challenging time," he said.

"Meat the Need, in terms of mince and livestock donations from farmers, is going great guns.

"We're growing more than 10 percent every year on our donations, which is great."

He said the charity had signed up with Fonterra to join its Miraka milk company partnership and supply milk to food banks across the country as well.

"That's pretty incredible work and pretty humbling, amazing donations from farmers coming in."

Langford said despite efforts, it was "definitely not" able to meet the huge demand for donations.

"It's a tough place to be.

"We produce a massive amount of food in New Zealand, and we've got no trouble processing or delivering it to those that need it.

"We just need to connect the dots and make it happen."