Farmers encouraged to Meat the Need this Christmas

// Industry

Beef + Lamb New Zealand is encouraging farmers to donate to the Meat the Need initiative, particularly at this time of year when many families are facing hardship.

B+LNZ’s CEO Sam McIvor says the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has made 2020 a particularly tough year for many people and Meat the Need allows individual farmers to make a meaningful difference to people’s lives.

“This is fantastic opportunity, as it allows our industry to support and nourish the more vulnerable members of our community with our nutrient-rich, healthy, grass-fed red meat.”

Meat the Need was the brainchild of South Island farmers Wayne Langford and Siobhan O’Malley and the pair garnered support from Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ), DairyNZ, Federated Farmers and the Ministry for Primary Industries who provided funding through its Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures Fund.

Through Meat the Need, farmers supply livestock to meat processor Silver Fern Farms who then provides the equivalent weight in mince in 500gm packages to nominated community organisations at regular intervals.

The Salvation Army is one of those community organisations and Vikki Stevenson, Divisional Director for Community Ministries, The Salvation Army Southern Division says before Meat the Need came along, they had very minimal meat in their food parcels to give out.

“Now they are supplying us monthly based on our numbers and it’s fantastic!”

She says many of the Salvation Army’s clients find it exciting to receive meat in their food parcels as for many, meat makes the meal complete.

Feedback from Salvation Army centres is that many of their clients cannot afford sausages and mince because of the cost.

“I love seeing the excitement it brings to their face. It is also encouraging for us to know we are providing some nutrition.”

For information about how to donate go to