Call for citrus to send south

Tony and Angela Forster donated 16 banana boxes of navel oranges to last year's Citrus for Christchurch collection by Whangarei Lions. This year's collection will be on August 5.
Tony and Angela Forster donated 16 banana boxes of navel oranges to last year's Citrus for Christchurch collection by Whangarei Lions. This year's collection will be on August 5.

Enjoying that mid-winter citrus fruit overload, but wondering what to do with all your spare fruit?

Whangarei's Lions Clubs have the answer, bring it to Forum North on August 5 and it will be sent to help residents in the deep south experience some free mid-winter citrus.

This will be the fourth winter in a row citrus has been collected from Whangarei after it was started in 2014 by Christine Stephenson, who moved to Whangarei in 2012 from Christchurch where she had lived for 25 years.

She got the idea when she saw the excess fruit around Northland and recalled how hard it was to get in Christchurch. Citrus is also good at helping fight the winter sniffles.

Whangarei's Lions Clubs have been running the collection for the past three years and after sending more than six tonnes of fruit south last year, organiser Terry Ward said the collection would be held again at Forum North from 8am to 2pm on August 5.

"We will be right by the Forum North main entrance in a truck kindly loaned by Rent a Cheery. Lions Clubs are asking residents of Whangarei to check out their citrus trees, in particular sweet oranges and lemons, for fruit to send to the people of Christchurch and Dunedin," Mr Ward said.

"Mainfreight in Whangarei have kindly agreed to pay for a shipment of banana boxes full of citrus from Whangarei to the South Island."

He said banana boxes will be collected from 'Pak'nSave and Regent New World ready for packing and people may like to pick up their own banana box from their local store.

"If you do not have enough fruit to fill a box then please ask neighbours or friends to help support you and us.

"You can also use plastic bags to deliver the fruit to us at Forum North. Keeping the different fruits separate would also be very helpful."

Mr Ward said there is a pesky bug that drills into citrus and if people notice a small drilled hole, do not donate that fruit.

The citrus will be delivered to a fruit and vege co-op for distribution. There are now 30 distribution sites around Christchurch with 2300 or more active members. Some will go on to Dunedin for distribution.

- Northern Advocate

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