South Canterbury dairy farmers John and Cara Gregan have thrown their support behind a scheme to get red meat into foodbanks.
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JOHN BISSET/STUFF John Gregan says dairy farming is going quite well and he and wife Cara are happy to give back.

Meat the Need, began in 2020 enabling farmers who supply livestock to Silver Fern Farms, to donate the value for an agreed number of livestock into the charity fund.

“It’s relatively painless. We just let the draughter know when we send them [dairy cattle] to the works,” Gregan said.

After the cattle are processed at the meat works, beef mince was distributed to foodbanks around the country.

“We read about it in the media,” John, who farms inland from Otaio, said.

“We liked what they were hoping to achieve and donated a couple of beasts last year. We’ve got another one or two going next week. We’d like to keep supporting them.”

He said dairy farming was going quite well, and they were happy to give back.

Each beast was worth about $700.

“Farmers don’t talk about these things much, but it’s had quite a lot of support.”

Meat the Need was started by Wayne Langford and Siobhan O’Malley, of Pukeko Pastures, on the West Coast.

Langford said the high level of support from farmers and Silver Fern Farms, were critical to the charity’s success.

“Many New Zealanders have needed a hand-up this past year and farmers have really stepped up to the plate in giving generously to Meat the Need.”

More than 410,000 red meat meals have gone to foodbanks across the country in the first year.

The goal for the second year, Langford said, was to double that number and deliver nearly one million meals.

97 Milk’s slogans supporting whole milk are appearing ever farther afield from the group’s home base in southeastern Pennsylvania.

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