Helping hands: Royalburn Farm owners Nadia Lim and Carlos Bagrie are helping save Queenstown’s KiwiHarvest

Royalburn Farm’s swinging in behind KiwiHarvest.

Owners of the Crown Range property, celeb chef and entrepreneur Nadia Lim and hubbie Carlos Bagrie, are including a silent auction as part of a special lunch at Mora Wines and Artisan Kitchen on September 22, proceeds of which will go to the food rescue service.

Long-time local Jason Medina, who recently took on a part-time sales role at Royalburn, says there’s capacity for 100 people at the lunch, at which Royalburn’s new beef, about to hit the market, will be showcased, as well as lamb.

Lim and Bagrie will also talk about farming and the desire to feed more people directly, one reason they’re particularly passionate about KiwiHarvest.

Mountain Scene reported last month KiwiHarvest’s in desperate need of a financial lifeline after the government slashed its food sector budget from $11 million to just over $1m.

Its Queenstown branch manager is rattling every cage possible to raise about $50,000 to establish a temporary depot on Queenstown council-owned land behind Countdown at Five Mile, given it can no longer afford the rental price of its Glenda Dr site.

Money must be found: Jason Medina

Medina, who volunteers at the Salvation Army on Wednesdays, says the situation is ‘‘just maddening’’.

‘‘I can’t even speak, I get so upset about it.

“We’ve seen the need increase and we’ve seen the desperation increase.

‘‘The way the rescue food works [at the Sallies] … people can come in … and through that we can discern if people have further needs.

‘‘That food is a great builder of trust and confidence.

‘‘We’ve been able to help other families and individuals who visit every week with [for example] financial mentoring, further food help, counselling, alcohol and drug referrals.

‘‘We wouldn’t be able to do that if KiwiHarvest ceased to exist.’’

Medina, on behalf of Bagrie and Lim, is hustling to find items to put into the silent auction at this month’s lunch, aiming to raise as much as

Additionally, Royalburn will be opened up three times this summer for farm tours, proceeds of which will be split evenly between KiwiHarvest, Baskets of Blessing and Garden to Table.

Up to 100 spots will be available per tour, which will run in December, January and February.

‘‘We’ve just got to find the money,” Medina says.

‘‘We’ve got to keep them [all] funded.’’

[email protected]

- Advertisement -