• Magpies to play in charity jersey supporting Nourished for Nil

Magpies to play in charity jersey supporting Nourished for Nil

The Hawke's Bay Magpies will once again wear an alternative strip for the season, this time raising much-needed funds for Nourished for Nil. 

The team and the Hawke's Bay Rugby Union hope the charity jersey initiative will be as successful as last season when they raised $17,000 to support a drought-stricken farming community and scored  Hawke's Bay's first NPC win against Canterbury in more than 35 years.

This year, the HBRU received more than 50 nominations for 19 different charities. After in-depth discussions between the HBRU, Total Oil, Magpies team members and coaches, Nourished for Nil was selected.

Founded in 2017, its mission is to rescue and redistribute high-quality food to represent a socially conscientious and environmentally aware organisation.

Nourished for Nil collect food from sources where it would otherwise be thrown out and distribute it to people in need every day except Sundays. They have depots in Napier, Hastings and Flaxmere and feed up to 1,800 people per week.

Nourished for Nil founder Christina McBeth said the fact the charity was chosen from a large number of applications as the recipient of the charity jersey for 2021 is "wild beyond our expectations".

"We are humbled and super excited to have our name alongside the Magpies for a special game. We also look forward to having some of the players come and take part in a food distribution service. Best news ever." 

HBRU Marketing Officer Brooke VanderPeet said: “We are very excited to be working with Nourished for Nil and promoting what they do, as it is such a prevalent issue at moment".

"This is an exciting opportunity for the Magpie boys to engage with the community through different volunteering options such as sorting through the food or handing out food parcels."

Magpies Head Coach, Mark Ozich, who travels from Hastings to work every day, says he passes Nourished for Nil on the drive-in, and the number of people in line at the Hastings Depot has "grown significantly". 

Sharni Wakeman, Marketing Coordinator for Total Oil said it was really hard to select just one from the 19 amazing organisations operating here in the Bay, by teams of "wonderful, dedicated people". 

“Nourished for Nil stood out to our staff, who all voted for their favourite, as this would not benefiting what they do for the community, but also the fact that they are helping with the reduction of waste and the environment. It is also one of our major focuses as a business.”

As an addition to the food that they collect in their programme, the Hawke’s Bay Rugby Union will be running a food drive at the designated game, where clean and empty Total Oil drums will be placed at each gate for people to bring a can or a packet of non-perishable food that can be donated to Nourished for Nil.

Fans will be able to again get their hands on one of the 23 match jerseys which will again be auctioned off individually on Trade Me, every cent will go to Nourished for Nil to help reduce the number of people going without.

A limited number of charity jerseys will also be produced for sale through retailers.

VanderPeet thanked all the charities that put their name forward for this opportunity.

"We see all the hard work that you do in the community and would encourage you to apply for this opportunity next year.”

"Keep an eye out for the jersey design which will be released over the coming weeks as well as the draw for the National Provincial Competition which will be out very soon, and secure your membership or tickets. It is going to be a great season, and we can’t wait to see you all in your jerseys at McLean Park, cheering on your Magpies."