Call for Fruit Tree Owners to Pick Surplus For Charity

Food rescue charity Food Fair supplies over 50 community local groups with over 2.4 million meals per year. During the winter period Fair Food will deliver 75,000 meals to 5,000 vulnerable families and has opened a ‘Conscious Kitchen’ to teach community members the principles of upcycling food. 

Around a third of all food produced globally is wasted, however staff at Fair Food receive and hand-sort around a tonne of discarded food each day - which is provided by supermarkets, growers and manufacturers. The surplus produce would otherwise be destined for landfill, generating an estimated 540 tonnes of greenhouse gases annually. 

With pandemic-driven food shortages, inflation and winter heating costs all impacting already vulnerable families, the poverty gap is widening. 40 percent of Kiwi households experience food insecurity and 19 percent of tamariki live in homes where consistency of food supply is a concern. 

Chief Financial Officer at Fair Food, Deborah Mclaughlin recalled a woman who recently had to stop her children’s sporting activities because it became a choice between paying for the petrol to get them there, or buying groceries. Other families are going without heat.

“No one should have to be in this position,” Mclaughlin said.

A local social enterprise, The Trusts has provided financial support for the distribution of meals and has called for Kiwis with citrus fruit trees on their property to pick surplus fruit to donate to those in need.

Currently, citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruit, lemons and mandarins are in season and food rescue charities like Fair Food can often collect the produce from those willing to pick it.

Winter, along with Christmas and back to school are the months with the highest levels of need. Families in our communities are facing the perfect storm of seasonal cost pressures and it is critical that organisations like Fair Food be given the support of corporates to allow them to continue their work during peak seasons of need.

Find out more about Fair Food at fairfood.org.nz