Just Zilch is nothing without its small army of volunteers. Over 100 people from all walks of life give time to help others by helping us manage the store.

Gail has been volunteering at Just Zilch since the beginning of 2018 and says it was such a good decision! Gail is our Thursday morning supervisor and is super organised! She is so easy going and cheerful and you'll always hear her team laughing and enjoying themselves.
Meet Gordon and Jeanette... These two are an absolute God send to Just Zilch and we are so incredibly blessed to have them as part of the team. You are not so likely to see them around here though as a lot of their work is done after hours and on weekends. Gordon does our café run on a Monday and Friday and will often step in to relieve other drivers when they are away. Then on top of this, both of them come in in the evening and work tirelessly sorting out all our rubbish and recycling. Whoever knew there was an art to stacking cardboard in the recycling bins to maximise the space! What we actually throw away as rubbish is so minimal thanks to the hard work and dedication of this incredible duo! While we may not see them that much, the impact they have on Just Zilch is huge and is something that doesn't go unnoticed. Gordon and Jeanette, thank you for your years of loyal dedication to Just Zilch, you really are amazing! 
Marita started with Just Zilch around three years ago and has worked in various roles. She is currently a supervisor on two of our morning shifts as well as helping on another shift. She will also be the person on the door the days she works. If you've ever seen the movie Moana, you'll know the song "You're Welcome" sung by Maui. Marita is Just Zilch's very own Maui as she says this close to 100 times a day when people come in to get their food (providing they've said thank you!).
Juanita is one of our supervisors on the second shift and has been volunteering at Just Zilch for seven years! Juanita is bright and vibrant like her top and she is very good at leading her team. She is very organised, she runs a tight ship and she loves to give back to the community in any way she can.
Heather has been working at Just Zilch for around six and a half years in various different roles. She is currently a supervisor on two of our early shifts. You may not see her that often when you come to collect food as she's usually running a tight shift in the background. Heather is absolutely amazing at finding all the random boxes of food hidden in the shop and getting those out in the trays.
Chrisi started with Just Zilch in 2020 after the first lockdown. Chrisi has worked in various roles as a volunteer and is now a supervisor on one of our afternoon shifts. Chrisi is so friendly and helpful and always has a welcoming smile on her face.
Meet Belle, a determined student at Palmerston North Girls' High School, who believes in setting goals and achieving them. This year, she embarked on her Duke of Edinburgh journey, seeking opportunities to make a positive impact on her community.

When it came to choosing a place to volunteer, Belle had her heart set on Just Zilch. "Just Zilch seemed like the perfect fit for me," Belle shared. "I've always been passionate about helping out at a food rescue organization's free store, and Just Zilch provided that opportunity. It was an exciting chance to give back to the community and ensure that surplus food doesn't go to waste."

Stepping into Just Zilch for the first time, Belle was amazed by the abundance of donated food from supermarkets, bakeries, cafes, and other food outlets. Witnessing how this surplus food was used to supplement groceries for those in need left a lasting impression on her. "It's truly heartwarming to see the positive impact Just Zilch has on so many families," Belle said. "The gratefulness of the families who visit the store is the best part of volunteering. Beyond that, I found a wonderful community of like-minded individuals among the volunteers, which creates a supportive and motivating atmosphere. Knowing that we're all working together for a common cause is what keeps me excited to return every week."

Belle believes that Just Zilch's significance in the Palmerston North community may not receive the recognition it deserves. "This organization plays a crucial role in helping families save money for other essential needs," she emphasized. "The appreciation expressed by the customers is a testament to the positive impact Just Zilch has on people's lives."

Through her volunteer experience, Belle gained a deeper understanding of the challenges faced by Palmerston North's communities. She learned that everyone, at some point, may need a helping hand, and there's no shame in seeking support during tough times. "I encourage more people to volunteer at Just Zilch," Belle enthused. "The rewards are beyond measure. Seeing the gratitude and happiness on people's faces when they receive the assistance they need is an incredible feeling. Plus, the friendships you make with other volunteers are priceless, knowing that you're all contributing to support families in the Manawatu region."

Belle's commitment to making a difference through Just Zilch exemplifies the power of individuals coming together to create positive change. Her journey serves as an inspiration for others to find meaningful ways to give back to their communities and help those in need.
Jenn has only been with us for a few months but boy has she been amazing in that time! She has stepped up to take on any role we ask her to, from doing the supermarket run with her sidekick Charlotte, marking JZ on all the barcodes and she's one of the regular faces on our Monday lives. Sadly, Monday the 1st of May was Jenn's last day with us as she is off overseas to explore the world before she settles in Australia.
Thursday morning team
Wednesday morning team
Tuesday afternoon team
Wednesday afternoon team
Driver crew
Meet Urla (on the left) and Clarissa (on the right – nicknamed ‘Tiggy’). They’re both pupils at St Peter’s College. They both agreed that this experience has opened their eyes to the deep needs that are out there. “In some ways it’s bitter-sweet, we really do get to make a difference but the people we meet are struggling and others just don’t seem to notice them.
Darren has been volunteering at Just Zilch for 10 months. He sees it as a chance to help where he can. He loves the atmosphere in the place, describing it as “non-threatening".
Leah believes in what Just Zilch is doing and sees first hand the positive change it’s bringing about.
I love the open, respectful way that customers are treated. Serving the community in this way has made me far more open to helping others.
Jonathon helped build the new Just Zilch building as part of work experience - "Seeing how it was before we moved in and how it is now - that's pretty good!"

Interested in volunteering?

[email protected]

022 JZPALMY (022 597 2569)

Many of the images on our website came about through the Hope Project – thank you for taking an interest in our work and thanks for letting us use the pictures.

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