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Future Red Meat Sector Leaders Put A Smile On The Faces Of Kiwi Kids Fighting Illness

14 Feb 2023

The next generation of red meat sector leaders have joined forces with an award-winning chef to help feed the families of Kiwi kids fighting illness. As part of their induction, Alliance Group’s four 2023 graduates partnered with award-winning chef Darren Wright to cook a special evening meal for families staying at Ronald McDonald House Charities NZ in Christchurch on Tuesday 31 January.

The independent charitable trust provides free accommodation and support to families who need to travel away from home for their child’s medical treatment.

Abigail Stewart, one of four Alliance graduates preparing the meal, says the evening was a great way to bring a smile to the faces of families staying at Ronald McDonald House.

“Our hope was the meal would give families a chance to take their minds off the difficult times they are facing. Cooking and serving meals alongside acclaimed chef Darren Wright was a real privilege.

“We saw joy on the faces of children and their families when they took a bite of the slow-cooked Silere lamb oyster shoulder. For me, it reinforced the importance of small acts of kindness and how these seemingly small gestures make a real difference to families experiencing tough times.”

Alliance developed its partnership with Ronald McDonald House in 2021. The co-operative supports a number of fundraising events including Supper Club events in Christchurch, Queenstown and Invercargill, provides meat to a range of events, donates food and corporate gifts at Christmas and participates in the Family Dinner Programme.

“Ronald McDonald House holds a special place in the hearts of our people, our shareholder-farmers, and the broader community,” says Alliance Group interim chief executive Willie Wiese.

“A number of our employees and shareholder-farmers have either used the services Ronald McDonald House provides or know families who have. We recognise the important role it plays particularly for people in New Zealand’s more remote communities. The trust’s amazing work also aligns with our values of care, compassion and commitment.

The Alliance Group Graduate Programme, a twenty-four-month rotational programme, provides graduates with a well-rounded experience in the meat industry.

Alliance provides each graduate with a mentor for the duration of the programme and connects them with people in the co-operative, partners, farmers, rural communities and processing plants.

About the graduates
William Hii holds a Bachelor of Science with Honours in Food Science from the University of Otago. He spent his teenage years growing up in Mid Canterbury.

Chloe Lennox grew up on a sheep and beef farm, later converting to dairy in Waverley, South Taranaki. She studied a Bachelor of Agribusiness and Food Marketing at Lincoln University.

Abigail Stewart grew up in Wellington and studied a Bachelor of Science in Human Nutrition and Management at the University of Otago.

Travis McKenzie was raised on a farm in Southland.

For further information, contact:
Sam Halstead
Telephone: 027 474 6065

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