Fruit plan building a strong community

23:50, Jul 19 2012

You could easily attach a couple of cliched lines to the work of Feilding mum Madz BatachEl.

"One man's trash is another man's treasure" leaps to mind, as does "waste not want not".

But there's far more to the Mrs BatachEl's plan, which involves setting up a charity to provide people with fruit from people's back - and front - yards, that would otherwise be thrown away.

It's a noble cause and one that should be encouraged.

For starters, it helps those in need, with the added benefit of getting rid of something that would otherwise rot and go to waste.

But it's more than that. It is something that should bring communities closer together.

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If the people who own the fruit know it's going to a good place and the people who receive it know there are people who are willing to help, surely only good can come from that.

Unofficially, there are already people who take the fruit from suburban trees, but becoming a bit more organised can only help make things more official and legitimise it.

Far better that you know the person taking something off your property has a purpose behind it, rather than have some stranger lurking.

In Palmerston North, the free food store Just Zilch serves a similar purpose, but with a larger selection of items.

Judging by the size of the queues most days, the demand for cheap and free food is strong.

It also shows that in the wider community there are people who are willing to help out others.

The other issue is waste.

As with many Western countries, New Zealand is slowly realising how much good food - and other perfectly fine products - are disposed of every day.

There is a far better understanding and appreciation that we need to get more value and time out of the goods that are produced for us.

While the days of living in a disposable consumer society are still with us, initiatives like those in Feilding and Palmerston North are steps in the right direction.

Our Join The Club feature, which runs each Wednesday on page 2 of the Manawatu Standard is proving popular.

It never ceases to amaze us how many clubs are out there and the great things that they make and do.

Apart from the obvious ones, there are some smaller, niche groups out there that we'd love to hear from.

If you'd like to see your club profiled email editor@msl.co.nz with "Join The Club" in the subject line. Include a name and daytime contact details.

Manawatu Standard