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Hesitant to be delighted as meat prices fall

Dec 18th, 2009 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News

meatpricesMAINCOMMUNITY CHURCH groups who provide free meals for Christmas are hesitant to jump for joy at meat prices dropping.

Statistics New Zealand has reported meat, poultry and fish prices fell 3.2% in October, their first fall in a decade.

The most significant price drop is fresh chicken (down 8.7%) and lamb (down 11.8%).

But Bartley Patterson, administration officer of Lower Hutt Salvation Army, says they have not seen any changes: “We shop every week.”

Newtown Salvation Army director of community ministries Lee Ednery says it is fantastic news “if it’s true.”

Chicken is on their Christmas menu and they feed 100 on Christmas day, says Ms Ednery

People donate ham, salad vegetables and pudding, but they buy the chickens cooked, she says.

City Meat Butcher Victor Nel says lamb has come down 5c, but chicken is the same, with breast meat costing $20.95 a kilogram.

Hamish Preston of Preston’s Meat says the price of meat is a seasonal thing and it has come back compared to August last year.

Catholic Social Services soup kitchen chef Kim Unsworth (above, right) says any fall in price will certainly make a difference with a non-profit organisation like theirs.

They have no favourite butcher, says Kim. They shop around.

The price of rib steak cost $27 to $29 a km, chicken breasts is $9 to $11km and 27 kilo of beef at $7.95 a km cost $200, says Kim, who has been with the Soup Kitchen for six years.

Their service opens Mondays to Saturdays for breakfast  and evening meals, when they usually serve a roast for a $1.

“Everyone is welcome.”

They hold their Christmas dinner a week early, serving roast chicken and spuds with three sittings of 150 a time.

The numbers using their service have increased since 2008.

Lynne Wood, a Thames district nurse who is in Wellington for palliative care conference, says price drops are welcome news.

Anaemia is a problem for some of the elderly, in their efforts to save a few pennies by not buying meat.

Beef, liver and lamb are good sources of iron, she says.

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