Fresh start for church fruit and veg scheme

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Back on deck . . . Happy to be reopening the All Saints Fruit & Veges scheme from today are (from left) All Saints Church vicar Rev Michael Wallace, floor manager-committee member Cynthia Greensill, and volunteer-committee member Glennys Faulds. PHOTO: BRENDA HARWOOD

After a three-month hiatus, the All Saints Fruit & Veges scheme gets rolling again today.

The not-for-profit community project, which provides locally sourced, low cost fruit and vegetables, has been helping Dunedin families maintain food security for the past five years.

Based at All Saints Anglican Church hall in Dunedin North, the scheme distributes bags of produce to families across the city every Thursday via church-based pick-up centres.

All Saints vicar Rev Canon Michael Wallace said that just before Covid-19 Alert Level 1 lockdown, the volunteer-run scheme was distributing produce to about 150 families.

“We are thrilled to be back up and running from today, and ready to help anyone who wants cheap fruit and vegetables,” Rev Wallace said.

“Numbers are down a bit for today, as we get things moving again, but we are confident that people will be back quickly.

“And with people losing jobs and money tight, we believe people will be more in need of cheap fruit and veg than ever.

“The programme was started to support our community with food security, and that remains very important.”

The fresh and seasonal All Saints Fruit & Veges produce is ordered in bulk from local suppliers MG Marketing, with volunteer buyers Sarahmarie Kuroko and Alyssa Henderson ensuring a good range at the best possible price.

On Thursday mornings, a team of volunteers led by floor manager Cynthia Greensill, gathers at All Saints Church hall to pack the produce into different-sized bags.

Ms Greensill said more volunteers were needed to help with packing the fruit and vegetables, and that people enjoyed being involved.

“As we get things rolling again, we will be happy to receive new customers and new volunteers,” she said.

To celebrate the reopening of the All Saints Fruit & Veges scheme, customers who call in at All Saints will receive a “wee treat” of morning tea.

Under the All Saints Fruit & Veges scheme, a one-person pack costs $4, a two-person pack costs $7, and a family pack costs $14.

The bags can be collected on Thursdays from All Saints Church hall, as well as from St Martin’s Church in North East Valley, Holy Cross Church in St Kilda, St Mark’s Church in Green Island, and Caversham Presbyterian Church.

A fruit and vegetable sales table also runs at All Saints Church hall on Thursdays, from 8.45am to 10am, and 4pm to 6pm.

People who wish to sign up for All Saints Fruit & Veges can do so online at fruitvege.allsaintsdn.org.nz, or via Facebook.

If you are able to volunteer, please phone All Saints Church office on 479-2212, or email admin@allsaintsdn.org.nz.