Saturday, December 17, 2011

Farmy Army part bajillion

It's cold, it's wet and it's time for service.

I'm a firm believer that when
feeling blah go help others.

Mem arrived safe and sound,
just in time spend all Friday
packing food hampers with the Farmy Army.
I did a week or so helping to organise the Farmy Army 
back in Febuary after the Feb 22 earthquake.
That was a marathon of desperation.
Personally I was in the keep moving forward mode of mental survival
and I think I still might be.

But yesterday was Farmy Army feed the Eastern Suburbs day.
We met in the PGG Wrightson Woolstore

I love the smell of raw wool and
even better the bales make very comfy seats
and make even better safety walls.
The row on the left were to be our tables
already piled with grapefruit.

Then the truck arrived filled with fruit and veges
donated by farmers.
Donated by the pallet load.
That's a lot of fruit and veges
about $20,000 worth.
Both TV newses were there filming our goings on
and having a wee battle between over who got what shot.
Only to be cut because the Nelson floods are worse
oh and by Richie McCaw turning down a knighthood.

Mem was on kumara handing out.
We thought this was all there was
but there was a whole other pallet about to arrive.
Yes she is playing with a knife.

The volunteers were chaffing at the bit.

Hurricane Helen Heddell,
the rural woman whose heart is huge,
whose energy is endless,
whose will is steel
got us all organised and the filling began.

See what I mean about the pallets of veges!
Each bag got...
1.5 kgs onions
1.5 kgs carrots
2x kumara
1x cabbage
1x broccolini
1x lettuce
and 5kg of potatoes.

We worked it.
I was so busy clearing baskets as they emptied
and making sure veges were where they needed to be for easy access.
We filled 700 bags of veges
They were big bags all captured and enclosed by wool bales.
Then we had a little break and got into the fruit...
red peppers
yellow peppers
1.5 kgs apples

This was just the beginning of the fruit bags.

 This was the end.
Just tomatoes and red and yellow peppers left.
Hey! Where did Santa come from????
Sneaky Santa.

Then because there is always work to be done
and it's usually done by people like these lovely Rural Women
who are tying up the emergency fruit bags.
We ran out of the lovely green bags.

 Mem and I stayed to help some more.
To be honest I didn't even notice that people had left.

By this stage our kind of shy Mem
was in the swing of things
and nek minnute
she is up on the ute loading the heavy veges bags
ready to be delivered off to one of the Eastern Suburbs foodbanks.
Sarah in the hi-vis vest
totally got the importance of giving teenage girls jobs.

The food hampers were given to the families groups
like the Maori Wardens have collected along the way.
Keeping in mind the three Maori Wardens
who came for the pick up
all are living in over crowded, Red Stickered houses themselves,
so they got a bag too.

Oh! I forgot each bag came with a roast lamb.

All of this food was donated or
bought with donated money
via Federated Farmers.

We were given two boxes of lamb roasts that were left over.
So I called my Bishop and got as list of 24 families in need
who live in our ward boundaries
who could do with a treat
(and lamb is so expensive it is a treat).
When Mem and I got to Bishop and Mel's house
I looked at the list and must have looked
extremely dismayed
because Mel volunteered to deliver half of them.
This would normally have cheered me but
I'm supa tired and can't quite shake the feeling.
I was very relieved she did this for me
cause I don't know Christchurch that well.

Mem and I set out with google maps
and had only one double back.

I hope the gift of lamb roasts helps my ward members
feel some Christmas love.
And I very much hope that the families who got
Farmy Army food bags and bags and bags
feel better for the season.
feel not forgotten.
feel life is a little bit easier for a little while.

And just so you know cabbages are really heavy.
I am still digging out pear and lettuce from under my nails.

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