Initiative bears fruit for those in need

Programme providing second-grade fruit for children’s lunches, elderly and families in need goes down a treat.

Programme providing second-grade fruit for children’s lunches, elderly and families in need goes down a treat.

HEARTY INITIATIVE: Jess Jacobs and Rick Thorpe have started a second-grade fruit giveaway initiative to help out the needy in our district, providing fruit to groups like Gizzie Lunches, Supergrans, Feed Tairawhiti and Ka Pai Kaiti.
“It’s about ensuring fruit that otherwise would go to waste or be fed to livestock, goes back into the community to people who need it,” Miss Jacobs said.
She is pictured with her seven-year-old son Charlie and Rick, boxing fruit up for distribution. The initiative is well received and organisers say they should be able to keep it going year-round. Picture by Liam Clayton

A BIG-hearted initiative to help Gisborne community groups provide fruit for children’s lunches, the elderly and families in need has gone down a treat since it started.

Gisborne woman Jess Jacobs had thought for a while how good it would be to distribute fruit that was unwanted for the market to people who needed it.

“I approached grower Rick Thorpe about it and he approached some of the fruit packhouses. It has just taken off from there,” Ms Jacobs said.

The concept has been up and running for two weeks.

“We provide fruit to groups like Gizzie Lunches, Supergrans, Feed Tairawhiti and Ka Pai Kaiti.

“There are a lot of groups like us around New Zealand doing the same thing. “It’s about ensuring that fruit that otherwise would go to waste or be fed to livestock, goes back into the community to people who need it,” Ms Jacobs said.

New Zealand Fruits and Kaiaponi Farms came on board with the concept and provided the fruit.

“It’s all reject fruit that is available after grading,” Mr Thorpe said.

“The packhouses provided it free of charge. The only condition was that we give it away, and that's what we're about.”

Mr Thorpe provides second-grade kiwifruit and persimmons.

“It would otherwise go out to the cows and it is perfectly good for people to eat.”

The fruit is stored at a coolstore at Matawhero and picked up to be distributed round the city.

“We think we have found a practical way to get it to the groups in the community that need it,” he said.

“We want to be able to keep the supply going and there is no reason why we cannot continue to do this 12 months of the year. So far, we have distributed apples and kiwifruit.

“Soon the mandarins will follow, then navel oranges."

Tuta Ngarimu from Ka Pai Kaiti said the feedback from people who his group had been distributing fruit to had been amazing.

“We have some of it at our foodbank and we bag some of it and deliver it to our old people.

“They really appreciate this awesome gesture. Jess and Rick have got big hearts for our community.”

Rick Thorpe said it did seem crazy that people had not been able to get access to second-grade fruit like this before.

“But thanks to Jess and her initiative, now they can.”

A BIG-hearted initiative to help Gisborne community groups provide fruit for children’s lunches, the elderly and families in need has gone down a treat since it started.

Gisborne woman Jess Jacobs had thought for a while how good it would be to distribute fruit that was unwanted for the market to people who needed it.

“I approached grower Rick Thorpe about it and he approached some of the fruit packhouses. It has just taken off from there,” Ms Jacobs said.

The concept has been up and running for two weeks.

“We provide fruit to groups like Gizzie Lunches, Supergrans, Feed Tairawhiti and Ka Pai Kaiti.

“There are a lot of groups like us around New Zealand doing the same thing. “It’s about ensuring that fruit that otherwise would go to waste or be fed to livestock, goes back into the community to people who need it,” Ms Jacobs said.

New Zealand Fruits and Kaiaponi Farms came on board with the concept and provided the fruit.

“It’s all reject fruit that is available after grading,” Mr Thorpe said.

“The packhouses provided it free of charge. The only condition was that we give it away, and that's what we're about.”

Mr Thorpe provides second-grade kiwifruit and persimmons.

“It would otherwise go out to the cows and it is perfectly good for people to eat.”

The fruit is stored at a coolstore at Matawhero and picked up to be distributed round the city.

“We think we have found a practical way to get it to the groups in the community that need it,” he said.

“We want to be able to keep the supply going and there is no reason why we cannot continue to do this 12 months of the year. So far, we have distributed apples and kiwifruit.

“Soon the mandarins will follow, then navel oranges."

Tuta Ngarimu from Ka Pai Kaiti said the feedback from people who his group had been distributing fruit to had been amazing.

“We have some of it at our foodbank and we bag some of it and deliver it to our old people.

“They really appreciate this awesome gesture. Jess and Rick have got big hearts for our community.”

Rick Thorpe said it did seem crazy that people had not been able to get access to second-grade fruit like this before.

“But thanks to Jess and her initiative, now they can.”

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Mary-Ann de Kort - 6 months ago
Thank you Jess and Rick. Fruit is so healthy but so expensive. It's really inspiring to see this initiative from you. Well done.

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