Backyard crop feeds Geraldton charity

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Adam PoulsenGeraldton Guardian
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Foodbank volunteer Vi Thornton, 79, shows off some of the mangos she and husband Dick have grown at their Strathalbyn home.
Camera IconFoodbank volunteer Vi Thornton, 79, shows off some of the mangos she and husband Dick have grown at their Strathalbyn home. Credit: Adam Poulsen, The Geraldton Guardian

Vi Thornton and husband Dick had more mangos than they knew what do with, so they donated them to a good cause.

The Strathalbyn retirees have been helping Foodbank Geraldton cope with a major shortage of fruit and vegetables.

The keen gardeners have also donated figs, grapes, mulberries, passionfruit, oranges and silverbeet — all grown in their backyard.

Foodbank Geraldton manager Jamie O’Brien said regular suppliers from Bunbury were no longer donating excess stock, affecting the hunger relief organisation’s branches across WA.

“Apples and pears, for example, they all go to cider production now,” he said.

“Things are a bit grim.

“That’s why if any local growers — be they big or small — want to donate some stuff to us, that’d be hugely appreciated.”

Mr O’Brien said he welcomed produce from commercial growers and backyard enthusiasts alike.

“Cucumbers, capsicums, tomatoes and rockmelons are all grown locally,” he said.

“We’ll take whatever. Even those people with a few backyard fruit trees can help us.

“If you’ve got it and you can donate it, come and talk to us.”

Mr O’Brien said while temporary shortages were not uncommon, Foodbank had been feeling the pinch since Christmas.

“We’re just waiting for the stone fruit to kick it, but that’s still two or three weeks away,” he said.

Mr O’Brien said many Foodbank customers could not afford to shop elsewhere and were going without fresh, nutritious food.

Foodbank’s website describes the not-for-profit organisation as “a pantry to the charities and community groups who feed the hungry”.

Foodbank Geraldton is located at 31 Webberton Road.

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