Around 11,000 people whose working visas are set to expire over the 2020/21 season have been granted a new visa.
Following a pilot scheme in Christchurch, the initiative will extend to rural communities and other main centres, just as foodbanks are reporting record demand.
Created by Wayne Langford and Siobhan O’Malley, Meat the Need enables farmers to help feed New Zealand families, who are struggling to make ends meet, by providing a way for farmers to donate livestock that is then processed and delivered to foodbanks.
The scheme had been in the planning for over a year, but the initiative was accelerated in response to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Langford, says Meat the Need welcomes Silver Fern Farms’ partnership, which connects key participants in the supply chain – including the processing and distribution of the end-product.
The first delivery of 5,000 packs of meat, processed and donated by Silver Fern Farms, was delivered to the Christchurch City Mission on April 23. It is expected that supply of product will extend to other regions as more farmers donate stock.
Silver Fern Farms’ head of communications and sustainability, Justin Courtney says the company’s involvement in Meat the Need is a direct response to calls from its farmers for a way to give back to their community.
“Silver Fern Farmers are proud of the role they play in producing food for our nation and the world and want to contribute to ensuring Kiwis don’t go hungry. They want to know that all New Zealanders benefit from the fact that we produce large amounts of the best red meat in the world right here,” he says.
Courtney says a simple booking process has been put in place for farmers who supply livestock to SFF for processing to donate the value for an agreed number of livestock into the Meat the Need charity fund. SFF them processes and provides beef mince to foodbanks.
Farmers and the public can also get involved by donating funds to Meat the Need through its website”