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About 400kg of cherries will be shipped to the Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch City Missions, thanks to a charity picking day yesterday.
Cheeki Cherries owner Martin Milne said a chance encounter at the orchard with a chef from the Auckland City Mission led him to donate the cherries.
"One thing led to another and I said to him ‘do you ever get cherries?’. He said ‘Don’t be stupid, we can’t afford that’.
"By the time he got back to the shop we had 10kg of cherries and 10kg of apricots and we overnight couriered them — they were well received," Mr Milne said.
The charity event was a great way to help others after what had been a tough two years, he said.
"Sending cherries to the country’s City Missions is a no-brainer."
Cassie King, of Queenstown, made it a family day out complete with a picnic for her children Kobi (2) and Tomi (4) Foster, along with friend Sarah Dobson and her children Oliver (4) and Lewis (6) Clark.
"The pictures would show that Oliver did eat cherries, but we managed to pick three big buckets for charity and ourselves," Mrs King said.
It was her first time picking cherries and had been a good opportunity to teach the children about looking out for others, she said.
"It’s good that the children really understand what they’re doing. There was lots of questions in the car."
For the Craig family of Auckland, it was a good chance to do something new with children Lily (4) and Emma (2), dad Reid said.
"It’s fun — a good family friendly thing to do with children," he said.