Love Local delivers the goods

27 May, 2021

Celebrating the delivery of a new van to the Love Local charity are (from left) Love Local Charitable Trust trustees Kirsty Bell, Murray Heath (chairman), Carla Harper and Love Local co-ordinator Nicole Elliott.

EATING your greens is much easier thanks to the new Love Local delivery van.

A social enterprise business, the Southland charity’s main aim was to provide more fresh, local produce to the community, as well as support southern market growers with another way to supply consumers.

Designed to support and encourage Southlanders to eat healthy by providing affordable fresh fruit and vegetables, Love Local sourced produce from local growers and like-minded social enterprises, such as Koha Kai and The Spirit Army, sold and delivered bags of fruit and vegetables to customers throughout the province.

The profits were then used to provide affordable produce to low-income families through its Healthy Whanau scheme.

Love Local co-ordinator Nicole Elliott said each week the fruit and vegetables were selected based on price and what was available as local as possible.

“The only overseas fruit which may be included was bananas,” she said.

“People could buy a bag of produce as a one-off, or on a weekly, fortnightly basis, or once a month, with a portion of the sales going towards subsiding the Healthy Whanau bags so people on low incomes can get an affordable bag of produce.”

Since 2013, Love Local has operated in Southland, with the establishment of the Love Local Charitable Trust.

Trustee Carla Harper said the trust was created with the aim of supporting local growers and the promotion of local food systems, as well as making a healthy diet accessible to all Southlanders.

A recent trustee, Mrs Harper said: “If I can help to play a role in encouraging our community to eat less processed food and have more fruit and vegetables on their plates, then we are on to a good thing.

“What is truly exceptional about our model is we feed those in need; the proceeds from the vegetable bags to support a Healthy Whanau scheme provide those in need with low-cost fruit and vegetables, this is something unique to Love Local and what sets us apart from other [produce] distributors.”

Kirsty Bell was another recent trustee. Having been a long-time customer of the Love Local delivery service, when the opportunity arose, it was an easy decision to become a trustee and support Love Local through her finance and governance expertise, she said.

“I love that Love Local supports local growers where possible and uses reusable packaging to minimise the impact on the environment. I am looking forward to being more involved in working with the community to help them eat fresher and healthier at a low cost.”

The delivery van was bought thanks to funding from Community Trust South, Lotteries, Bowls Southland and the ILT Foundation.

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  • Article courtesy of Jenet Gellately, Southland Express