Christchurch veggie grower donating crop to foodbanks struggling with demand

A Christchurch veggie grower is donating his crop to foodbanks struggling to keep up with demand in the wake of COVID-19.

The owner of Jade Garden now plans to plant more vegetables in the future so he has plenty to donate.

These are all friends from the Christchurch Tramping Club whose walls were closing in under alert level 4 and 3. So, they jumped at the chance to become 'essential workers' for a good cause.

Their friend and fellow tramping buddy Allen Lim owns Jade Garden, a veggie supplier who had an excess of certain vegetables with wholesale produce suppliers being shut during lockdown. They came up with the idea of donating them to food banks.

"It's nice for something like this to get out and do something positive for the community you know," volunteer Bill Johnson says.

Last week they were chopping and throwing pumpkins. This week it's cauliflower, bok choy and silverbeet.

"We've seen the suffering and there are lots of people through no fault of their own or are needing food and not coping," Lim says.

In the short time Newshub was there, the team filled countless boxes to give away.

Food banks around the country have been running dry in the wake of COVID-19's impact and farmers and local food suppliers like this one have been stepping up to generously donate their products.

Lim says seasonal labour for food growers going forward is going to be a big issue with the borders shut.

"There's always a problem with getting enough labour," he says. "Even if it wasn't for COVID-19, there's always a problem with seasonal labour in New Zealand."

But thanks to some great community spirit, he's covered for this week at least.