Charity receives truck to help deliver food to those in need

Queenstown's branch of the charity organisation KiwiHarvest has been given a new refrigerated delivery truck and it could not have come at a better time.

Impact100 Wakatipu, a charity of 100 women from across the Wakatipu Basin who each put $1000 towards a $100,000 grant for a chosen charity, donated the truck.

KiwiHarvest collects good food which would otherwise go to waste and distributes it to those in need.

On Wednesday an official handover of the keys of the new truck, which the charity has named Lola, was held at its Frankton base.

It was attended by members of Impact100, Queenstown Lakes District Mayor Glyn Lewers and Salvation Army Community Ministries director Andrew Wilson.

KiwiHarvest Queenstown branch manager Gary Hough said "the arrival of Lola helps the security of KiwiHarvest, ensuring we can help families for years to come".

The community’s need for KiwiHarvest’s service typically increased during the cooler months.

The charity helped over 800 people access food support across Queenstown, Wānaka and Cromwell.

The charity’s former truck Lily had been with it since 2019.

It had delivered 500,000kg of food during its run in Queenstown.

The refrigeration system inside Lily broke down the morning Lola arrived at KiwiHarvest.

Lily also recently suffered a broken belt over the Crown Range, which made work around Queenstown and its hilly terrain difficult.

Impact100 Wakatipu chairwoman Clare Irons and KiwiHarvest Queenstown branch manager Gary Hough...
Impact100 Wakatipu chairwoman Clare Irons and KiwiHarvest Queenstown branch manager Gary Hough welcome new truck Lola. Photo: Rhyva van Onselen
"Everything has happened with really good timing," Mr Hough said.

"Lily can sit back and let Lola use her young energy."

Lily is going to be fixed up and taken to the Wānaka branch of the charity — increasing the capacity of the branch, where volunteers are using their personal cars to distribute food.

"Lily will quietly plod around the plateau of Wānaka into a nice retirement," Mr Hough said.

Impact100 Wakatipu chairwoman Clare Irons said the group decided to grant the money to KiwiHarvest last year.

Lola symbolised giving back to the greater Queenstown community.

"They have a large, lasting impact on the community.

"[They] even support other charities throughout the district."

One organisation which benefits directly from KiwiHarvest is the Salvation Army.

Donated food goes straight into its community pantry, benefiting families in need.

Mr Wilson was thrilled with the new truck.

"Every day that KiwiHarvest is on the road is a good day for the community."