An initiative to get food on tables in the East Coast has wrapped up this week with more than 450 freezer meals making their way around the region in Gisborne and Wairoa.

FMG partnered with local community groups to deliver locally made, quality meals onto the tables of those affected by successive bad weather events in 2023.

Rural propositions manager for FMG, Karen Williams says the idea was borne out of a conversation asking what else the rural insurer could be doing for the East Coast.

“We were coming out of the dark winter months last year and we knew things would be getting busy on farm. Food was one thing we could all agree on that was a great pick me up when the chips are down.”

FMG partnered with local Farmlands stores to host chest freezers which were filled regularly by Gisborne-based caterer, Black Fig.

“We then reached out to local community groups and representatives like Rural Support Trust and Hear4U and invited them to help themselves to the freezer meals to share with people in need. Some of our team on the ground also took meals out on client visits around the region.”

Wairoa Facilitator for Rural Support Trust, Kylie Brown says the meals were very appreciated by people in the area.

“Being able to rock up to someone's home and deliver a few delicious wholesome meals that they didn't need to think about when times were tough, took a huge weight off their shoulders. The feedback has been so positive, and I have been privileged to physically see the appreciation in people’s faces”.

General Manager of Hear4U, Krissy Mackintosh says the initiative has helped their clients and the wider community.

"It was thoughtful Koha that symbolised empathy, respect, and ensured troops have been fed.

“As a result of Cyclone Gabrielle, many marriages have endured really tough times – financially, mentally and physically. These meals have been instrumental throughout the healing journey of those that connected with #Hear4U”.

In the spirit of paying it forward, the freezers, originally donated by FMG to store the meals, would now be donated on.