The second annual rural telethon The Big Feed is back this December with an even loftier goal and more hi-jinks planned.
The telethon aims to raise money for as many meals as possible to distribute to families in need, and to bring rural and urban communities together across the country.
It’s being hosted by farmer-led charity Meat the Need, which facilitates donations of livestock and milk from farmers, as well as cash, to turn into meals and distribute to more than 110 food banks across the country.
Co-founder Wayne Langford said this year’s telethon is extremely important and the ultimate goal is for no one to go hungry.
“The cost of living crisis is placing huge pressure on people, families and food banks throughout New Zealand and the demand for Meat the Need services has increased massively,” he said.
“It’s also really, really tough on farm at the moment, over 50% of dairy farmers are making losses, and the same in sheep and beef.
“We want to use the telethon to not only try and raise as many meals as we can, but bring communities together with a bit of fun, humour, banter and no doubt some hilarious challenges and competitions. It’s been a bloody tough year for everyone and we want to shine a light on all the positive stories and things that are going on in the food and fibre sectors so that everyone can reflect and end the year on a high.”
Donations for The Big Feed can be made on the day by farmers pledging their livestock (sheep, beef and deer) or their milk through the Meat the Need website.
Cash donations can be made through the website, an 0800 number or a text number to make a $3 donation. All donations will be turned into mince and milk and donated to food banks.
“This isn’t just about farmers giving back, we want the whole country to get in behind The Big Feed and ensure those in need have access to quality protein. Together we can put food on the table and help fill empty bellies,” Langford said.
With demand for food banks increasing by 165% in the past three years, there are also opportunities for anyone across the country to show support by hosting fundraising events to feature as part of the telethon.
“To meet that demand, we’re asking businesses and organisations, groups and individuals to get in behind The Big Feed and help by hosting their own fundraising event either on the day or beforehand,” he said.
The Big Feed will be hosted on Thursday, December 14, running for approximately 14 hours from 6am.
The telethon will be live-streamed from the hub at Lincoln University and distributed through Meat the Need’s website and Youtube channel.
Langford and TV host Matt Chisholm are co-hosting the event, set to feature a raft of challenges, panel discussions and interviews with celebrities and other ambassadors. It will highlight processors, food banks and farmers and incorporate live crosses from locations all over the country.
Last year The Big Feed raised enough for 1.2 million meals for food banks across the country.