Anne Lee

From our whanau to yours – that’s the catch phrase behind the recently launched Meat the Need charity that enables farmers to donate an animal so the country’s most vulnerable can have meat on the table.

Key farmers behind the charity Wayne Langford and Siobhan O’Malley are calling on their peers, from across the dairy, sheep, beef and deer sectors, to get in behind the venture.

The pair had been working towards a launch in coming months, with support from Silver Fern Farms, Beef+Lamb, Federated Farmers and DairyNZ, but the sky-rocketing need created by Covid-19 meant they fast-tracked it.

Meat processor Silver Fern Farms is an integral part of the scheme, taking the donated animals and converting their value into 500g meat parcels that will be sent directly to foodbanks, City Missions and organisations that help feed the hungry.

Both O’Malley and Langford are well known in farming circles – O’Malley along with husband Christopher is a former New Zealand Sharefarmer of the Year and Langford, aka YOLO Farmer on social media, has featured widely in publications and on television for his work in mental health.

O’Malley says farmers can donate cattle, sheep or deer to the charity via the group’s website www.meattheneed. org with transport and normal meat processing forms and information organised online.

“We’re asking farmers to think about making this a regular thing so that when they’re sending animals away for processing, and they’re in a position to, one gets donated to the scheme,” she says.

“Because the value of the animal goes into the ‘meat account’ it means the flow of packs to the foodbanks can be managed and the supply chain is smooth throughout the year,” Langford says.
O’Malley says foodbanks indicated 500g packs of mince are the preferred form of donated meat from the scheme.

“When you look at the number of farms in this country and the need that’s out there, on a per-farmer basis this should be very doable – no one in this country should be going without food on the table,” Langford says.
Listen to the podcast at: meat-the-need