Support the Guardian

Available for everyone, funded by readers

Meat the Need golf day a success

Meat the Need golf day a success
Meat the Need co-founder and Federated Farmers President Wayne Langford

Meat the Need, a charity that links livestock and milk donations from farmers with families in need, hosted its first-ever regional golf day at the Waimate Golf Club.

The competition was a resounding success, raising 11308 mince meals for Waimate and Timaru food banks.

Over 25 rural businesses sponsored the event, donating prizes and sponsoring golf holes, with Hazlett Rurals' Snow Buckley wrapping up the event with an auction.

Rabobanks' longest drive went to Gerard Rawcliffe and Rural Transport’s nearest to the pin novelty was awarded to Dave Morgan.

The winning Ambrose team went to Barry Matthews, "Rats Team" from North Otago.

The event, organised by Waimate farmers and Meat the Need champions John and Cara Gregan, was held on June 9 with 20 teams competing in an Ambrose-style play over the 18-hole course.

Meat the Need co-founder and general manager and Federated Farmers president Wayne Langford was pleased with how the event went and acknowledged the importance of Meat the Need champions to the organisation's success.

"We have signed up a lot of Meat the Need champions across the country, and John is one of those champions.

"The role of a champion is not only spreading the word about Meat the Need, but they also have the ability to host fundraising events that benefit their local community," Langford said.

Langford, who runs a dairy operation in Golden Bay with his wife Tyler, says the cost of living crisis has seen a 30 per cent increase in demand from food banks and encourages farmers to get on board and donate to ease food insecurity in their communities.

"The main core of what we do is livestock and milk donated by farmers.

"There is a real opportunity for farmers signing up to donate.

"With milk, we suggest around a litre per cow as a good donation."

Supplying food banks with milk and meat frees up their resources to be able to focus those funds on other much-needed services, Langford said.

"If we can provide them with food, and they don't have to go out fundraising for it, they can give better help with budgeting and drug addiction services, and that sort of thing.

"When we are a country that is so rich in high-quality protein, why would we not want to do that?"

Langford said there had been an increase in double-income families and senior citizens needing food parcels, a sentiment echoed by Community Link Waimate operations manager Jakki Guilford.

"It's not just beneficiaries, which is what people assume," Guilford said.

"Our clients can range from single beneficiaries to working couples with children, and we are starting to see quite a few seniors in need."

Often people only require a one-off parcel when hit with unexpected bills such as a washing machine breaking down or a car repair.

"Sometimes they just need something to get them through the week so they can pay that bill if they are caught short."

Guilford said they have firm rules around who can access food parcels and how often, and people requesting multiple packages within a short period of time are directed to budget advisers to help them with their finances.

"We want to empower people; we don't want people to rely on food banks."

Guilford, whose husband is a dairy farmer, said Meat the Need is a simple way farmers can help their communities, and although they may not need help themselves, their staff might.

"We do quite a bit of support for rural workers that can be having a hard time."

Donations from farmers also mean food parcels contain good, nutritional food, saving food banks money they can spend on other produce.

"Meat the Need can have a tremendous impact on the quality of food that goes out to families because you can't beat good quality meat," Guilford said.

Meat the Need Upcoming Events

  • Spring Fling Charity Gala Dinner & Auction. "Bringing the Country to Town." Held at the Cordis Hotel in Auckland on September 9. Hosted by Hilary Barry and Scotty Stevenson.
  • The Big Feed Rural Telethon to raise money for three million meals across New Zealand. Hosted by Matt Chisholm and Wayne Langford on December 14.

by Claire Inkson