Less than 0.02% of New Zealand’s meat production could solve the country’s protein insecurity, says a charity dedicated to bringing the highest quality mince to those in need.
Since early 2020, one million servings of premium mince have been donated by New Zealand farmers through Meat the Need, with the support of processing partner Silver Fern Farms. The minced meat is distributed to food banks and community organizations nationwide.
Meat the Need operations manager Sarah Gagliardi said food insecurity, especially access to high-quality protein, is a “very real” problem for many people.
“Meet the Need provides a platform for farmers to donate a portion of what they produce wherever possible and get it into the hands of those who need it most. It means we are playing an important role in helping communities struggling with anxiety.”
New Zealand’s food insecurity is estimated at 14%, she said. However, only 0.02% of total meat production can fill this gap.
Hard-to-find premium mince
Meal mince packs have provided hard-to-find products to food banks and community organizations. That means premium beef mince donated by generous farmers across the country.
Providing nutritious protein in the form of minced beef helps change the landscape of food packaging, which has traditionally consisted of dried and canned foods.
Sarah says premium mince has great nutritional benefits.
“We want the highest quality ground meat to reach the people who need it most. It provides nutritious protein, zinc, vitamins B3 and B12, iron, potassium and the list goes on.
“In particular, we are working on two things: we don’t want anyone in New Zealand to go to bed hungry. would like to provide
“A tummy filled with nutritious food is a key enabler of growth in children and adults.
“For example, children who are well nourished are more likely to be more productive and focused at school, are more likely to participate actively in school and after-school activities, and improve their learning, development and Happiness expands.”
“Our minced meat is also halal, so it is accessible to the Muslim community,” says Sarah.
History of the project
Founders Wayne Langford and Siobhan O’Malley, South Island dairy farmers, knew there was a gap between the growing number of food farmers each year and the high levels of food insecurity in New Zealand. .
With food insecurity so high, they wanted to connect these dots.
Charities have started working in parts of the South Island. Rapidly growing, 2021 will see Meet the Need spread across the country. In July 2022, Feedout (Meet the Need’s milk donation sister brand) went nationwide with the support of Miraca (a sustainable milk company) and Fonterra.
With farmer donations, they provide mince and milk to 100 food banks/community organizations nationwide.
“Farmers who want to donate livestock simply contact their Silver Fern Farms representative. They let them know when to send the animals in and which they would like to keep for Meet the Need. ’ says Sarah.
Awareness of farmers in the midst of challenges
She said the biggest challenges include raising awareness among farmers.
“Time and again we come across farmers who want to donate some of their produce, but they don’t realize that Meet the Needs is a platform that allows this.
“Our inclusive ethos is that if all of us in the agricultural industry donate a little bit of what we have, collectively we can make a big difference to the people of New Zealand. “If every farmer donated one animal, we could easily feed the whole of New Zealand.”
According to Wayne Langford, 26 million animals are slaughtered each year in New Zealand.
We need 5,000 animal donations to keep New Zealanders from starving. This is just 0.02% of our total meat production. Thinking like that, it is very possible to provide food for those in need. “
Farmers can donate adult deer, sheep and cows, dairy farmers can donate milk.
New Zealand charity, Bellyful, Nourish and connect communities by cooking and providing free meals to Whanau with babies and young children in need.
Wendy Thompson, General Manager of Bellyful, says the impact of donations from farmers is huge and “means we can provide food for families in need.”
“We are able to create and donate nutritious, protein-filled meals for new moms and dads in need of support.
Kai for Kids’ Jo Taylor reports that all local principals whose school participates in its healthy school feeding program have commented that children come to school because they have lunch. . Thus helping with attendance, teachers report that children are calmer in the afternoon after lunch.
Major Murray Sanson of the Invercargill Salvation Army describes this meat as a godsend.
“Our food bank has benefited greatly from regular donations of Meat the Need mince, and many families in need benefit as a result.
“Meat is a godsend for us. We are grateful for the continued generosity of the farmers at Meat the Need.
And where in the future?
Sarah says her next goal is to reach a total of 3 million mince meals by 2024. The project also aims for him to donate 1 million ‘milk meals’ by the end of the year. By October 2022 that number will reach 290,000, and with more support from farmers, they believe they can reach that goal.
The project is published on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and their website, meattheneed.org.Farmers can donate milk by feedout.org.
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https://dailyencourager.co.nz/nz-farmers-and-meat-the-need-bridge-the-poverty-gap/ NZ Farmers and Meat the Need bridge the poverty gap