Northland's excess citrus fruit being sent across the strait to help South Island families

South Island communities will be reaping the rewards of an abundance of citrus fruit in Northland.

Your playlist will load after this ad

The surplus produce is being gathered in backyards and sent across the strait, where it's not so easy to grow the fruit. Source: 1 NEWS

Unwanted fruit have been gathered up and shipped across the Cook Strait where they're not so easy to come across.

It is one of four collection centres in Whangarei today as part of the Lions campaign.

The fruit dropped off and cleaned before being distributed to more than 2000 needy families in the South Island.

They haven't done the numbers yet, but on a typical year they would normally send about six tonnes of fruit to the South Island and this year there seems to be a surplus of grapefruit.

"Grapefruit is not good with a whole lot of people's medication so they would prefer sweeter oranges and lemons, but we do get a lot of grapefruit and that goes down there too so I'm sure that’s good for marmalade and things,” Whangarei Lions president Terry Ward said.

And while lemons and oranges are most popular, any fruit is better than none.