Waikato  in need of 23,000 more meals this year

As more people struggle to put food on their tables in the Waikato this year, our farmer-led charity is aiming to nourish those who need it most.  

Meat the Need and Feed Out (Meat the Need) support 10 food banks and community organisations across the Waikato region, donating a monthly supply of mince and milk.  

The farmer-led, and locally run, charity facilitates donations of livestock, milk and cash to turn into mince and milk meals. 

It’s the only charity in the country to distribute a consistent supply of nutritious protein to 115 food banks and community organisations nationwide, with more than two million meals delivered since July 2020.  

In the Waikato alone, another 23,000 meals this year are needed to keep communities facing food insecurity nourished with protein. 

Recent reports indicate food support services nationwide have seen a 40% increase in demand for help, also increasing pressure on the charity.  

“Recent statistics show more than 200,000 children are living in poverty in New Zealand, and more than one in five homes with children run out of food sometimes or often, which is a disturbing number for a country that produces so much food,” General Manager Zellara Holden said.  


“The demand for our services right now is currently unprecedented. We have more than 100 food banks and community organisations on our wait list, and we desperately need more donations to be able to help as many communities, families and individuals as we possibly can.”  

Anyone can make a difference today by texting “FEED” to 2662 to donate a meal for $3.  

Or head to our website meattheneed.org to donate livestock, milk and cash with 100% of donations turned into mince and milk meals.  

Hamilton Christian Food Bank Manager Hannah Davies says meat and milk donations are fundamental for a healthy, well-balanced diet and the donations enable their organisation to focus their funds on providing other food items.  

“Meat and milk powder are easily our most expensive, yet most requested, food parcel items,” she said. 

In the year to March, their food bank alone supplied more than 8,000 food bags to almost 6,000 households.  

A significant portion of clients require ongoing assistance, emphasising the persistent nature of food insecurity for many. 

Unfortunately for many living in poverty, quality meat is one of the first things sacrificed from shopping lists. Instead replaced with cheaper alternatives such as pre-cooked or preserved foods with much lower nutritional value or even no meat at all,” Davies said.  

Everyone deserves to eat. More than that, everyone deserves to eat good balanced food.  

“Meat the Need and Feed Out have a great model that doesn’t just put food on the table but ensures it’s the types of food that the people want and need. Everyone knows that protein and calcium are important for children to learn and grow, it just makes sense to ensure our Tamariki are taken care of,” Davies said. 

Meat the Need is currently fundraising to help supply more meals to the families in need.  

Meat the Need and Feed Out are proudly supported by founding partner Silver Fern Farms and processors Miraka and Fonterra.