Free food group outgrows vehicle
Palmerston North's free food store is groaning under the weight of its own success.
Just Zilch co-ordinator Rebecca Culver said yesterday the amount of food being donated had grown substantially since it first opened its doors in 2011.
The growth in donations was not the problem, as there was always demand, but transport was becoming "a mission".
"It's partly because of the times we have to pick up, but also because of the space that we have available," she said.
Her own car was being used to pick up food from supermarkets and other food donors.
It filled quickly and had to return to the store about six times a day on its collection round.
"We're a not-for-profit organisation and since it's my car, while the organisation does help reimburse me for costs, it doesn't mean that all the costs are necessarily reimbursed.
"So I wear a lot of the costs."
Miss Culver said she would like to be able to acquire a "small chill truck", but even a van would be more helpful than her car.
She was searching for someone to sponsor an appropriate vehicle, which would also allow Just Zilch to open on Saturdays.
"The vision is that if we open on Saturdays, I wouldn't be the one running it. We'd have a shop manager."
It would also allow the store bring in food from elsewhere.
"I think that there's still more food to come. We are only touching the surface of surplus food. As much as we're getting, I think there's still a lot of surplus food available.
"For example, primary producers often have things that aren't good enough to sell and they're just dug back into the ground. They're perfectly edible.
"Having a vehicle would mean we could go get that sort of thing in bulk."