743 days ago

WHAT DO YOU DO WITH YOUR EXCESS FRUIT OR VEGETABLES?

The Team from EmpowermentNZ Charitable Trust

Have excess fruit or vegetables? Donate them to Te Puke Food Bank.

When my husband and I were looking at houses, we knew we wanted a place with a backyard. A place where I could plant a garden — in the ground. Imagine our excitement when we found our current home that came with 1 lemons tree, 1 peach tree, a mandarin orange tree and a FEIJOA tree!I LOVE FEIJOAS! I love them so much that I really don’t want to share them when it is time to harvest LOL

However, come harvest, the abundance of feijoas is so overwhelming I can’t eat them, can them, or give them away fast enough! Also, last year, our summer garden produced a bevy of tomatoes which I also had trouble consuming in a timely fashion. This year, we found a way to resolve the issue of over abundance.

We found a local non-profit organization that we will donate our extra fruit to. Our local Te Puke Food Bank at EmpowermentNZ Hub. Last weekend, we harvested half of our lemon tree and we dropped it off because we know that it is going to a good cause. It was that simple!

What happens to the donation?

The donated fruit or vegetables are made available to impoverished or low income families. They may also be used in soup kitchens for meal preparation which EmpowermentNZ provides on Tuesday nights to feed the homeless.

In low income communities, access to fresh fruit and vegetables may be difficult to non-existent.

It is difficult for me to imagine not having access to fresh fruit or vegetables. As a kid growing up in Samoa I was fortunate to grow up on a farm. Dad had 30 acres and we sold our fruit and vegetables at the local markets. The farm also had a few cows, a pig (sometimes two), chickens, beautiful mango trees, and mom's small modest garden.

One of my most cherished childhood memories include biting into a fresh watermelon and eating mangoes from dad's garden with my five sisters and three brothers. We sat on the dusty cement porch spitting out seeds. With shirts stained pink from the juice and sticky hands, we washed ourselves off with the garden hose before going on to our next adventure.

In fact, many of my memories of dad are centered around the farm, his unsuccessful attempt at cooking and the bounty of fruit and vegetables. Everyone should have access to fresh fruit and vegetables. If you have excess fruit or vegetables every season, please consider making a donation to the Te Puke Food Bank.

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