Queenstown’s future heart is in good shape if students at Shotover Primary are anything to go by.

After reading in Mountain Scene in August about local food rescue service KiwiHarvest having their funding slashed by the former government, from $11 million to just over $1m, the school’s ambassadors decided to pitch in to help.

Cate Scott, 13, says they decided it’d be a good idea to do some fundraising for the charity.

KiwiHarvest picks up food from supermarkets, cafes and restaurants, and redistributes what it can to other charities, like Basket of Blessings, Happiness House and Salvation Army, to help those in need.

Cate says every term the school has a non-uniform day to raise money for different causes — this year they’ve held a ‘pink shirt day’ to support anti-bullying efforts, and raised money for Auckland’s Eskdale Primary School, following flooding earlier this year.

‘‘We said they could do whatever they wanted with the money, and use it to spread a bit of joy.’’

Creating their own cardboard KiwiHarvest food rescue truck to collect donations, Cate says the goal last Thursday was to raise enough money to fill it up — and they succeeded, raising a total of $815.10 from donations and a sausage sizzle, supported by KiwiHarvest’s Queenstown manager Gary Hough.

Hough tells Scene, about six weeks ago, when he was getting ‘‘lots of bad news in a row’’ about the funding cuts, and things were looking pretty bleak, he got an email from Cate who knew what a good job the charity did, wanting to hold a fundraiser for them.

‘‘It’s just amazing kids of that age would take it on themselves to help us, and the community, and help us keep doing what we’re doing.

‘‘It was a real heart-warming day, and it’s beautiful … to see it all come together.

‘‘A huge thank you to the kids and Shotover Primary for helping us out.’’

Hough says the support from virtually every sector of the community over the past few weeks has been ‘‘mind-blowing’’, and has raised
enough money to relocate the depot from Glenda Dr to a temporary site, behind Countdown, at Five Mile, until the Whakatipu Community Hub is constructed, where KiwiHarvest will have a permanent home.

‘‘In such a short timeframe, to see the money come in from so many different parts of the community is just really heart-warming and just shows what a great community we live in.’’

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