Wednesday, 18 August 2021 10:55

Foodbanks seek 1m litres of milk

Written by  Sudesh Kissun
Miraka's Grant Jackson (left), Feed Out donor Hularau Farm's Lisa Kearins, and Feed Out's Wayne Langford celebrate the first production of milk, destined for Taupo district foodbanks. Miraka's Grant Jackson (left), Feed Out donor Hularau Farm's Lisa Kearins, and Feed Out's Wayne Langford celebrate the first production of milk, destined for Taupo district foodbanks.

Foodbanks around the country could soon be handing out two-litre packs of milk with each food parcel.

Farmer-founded charity Feed Out general manager and Golden Bay farmer, Wayne Langford, says the charity is in talks with milk processors.

Last month, Maori-owned milk processor Miraka processed over 20,000 litres of farmer-donated milk for distribution across Central Plateau and Wairarapa.

Langford told Dairy News that Miraka is the first milk processor to donate to the charity.

"This was our first processing run with Miraka, so up until now we haven't handed out any milk products," he says.

Feed Out is part of the Meat the Need Charity, founded by farmers Langford and Siobhan O'Malley.

The Meat the Need scheme's goal is to put a minced meat pack in each of the 500,000 food parcels given out in New Zealand.

Langford says Feed Out's plan is to include milk in every food parcel.

"We would like to eventually do this with milk, with at least two litres, so we will be looking for at least 1 million litres when we go national. We are in discussions with other processors and these discussions take time.

"We hope to have the option of donating to 'Feed Out' open to all dairy farmers, no matter which processor they supply. It's very cool that farmers are now donating valuable protein meals for both breakfast and dinners."

Grant Jackson, Miraka's general manager of milk supply, says Feed Out is an opportunity for the Miraka farm and factory whānau to make a direct impact on their local community.

"When Wayne contacted us about getting involved, we jumped at the chance.

"Our farmers are a pretty caring bunch and were quick to come on board with the programme, as were Tetrapak and Visy Board, who have donated the packaging. For us it's a way for us to show manaakitanga and to give something back."

Langford says reaching production with Miraka was a significant milestone.

"We export over 95% of our milk, and yet there are still families going hungry right here in New Zealand.

"That seems crazy. Feed Out provides a way for farmers to help meet this need. We've been blown away by the support of Miraka and their supply farmers. This donation has far exceeded our expectations, and will be a huge help to those who need it most," says Langford.

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