Cromwell cherries are helping to feed some of the country’s most vulnerable people.

About 400kg of cherries will be shipped to the Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch city missions thanks to a charity picking day held on Sunday.

Cheeki Cherries owner Martin Milne said a chance encounter at the orchard with a chef from the Auckland City Mission led him to donate the cherries.

“One thing led to another and I said to him “do you ever get cherries?’.” He said “don’t be stupid, we can’t afford that’.”

“By the time he got back to the shop we had 10kg of cherries and 10kg of apricots and we [sent them] overnight .. they were well received,” Mr Milne said.

The charity event was a great way to help others after what had been a tough two years, he said.

Family day out . . . from left Tomi (4) and Kobi Foster (2) with mum Cassie King, and friends Sarah Dobson and her children Oliver (4) and Lewis Clark (6), all of Queenstown, picnic in the trees at the Charity Pick on Sunday. PHOTO: SHANNON THOMSON

Cassie King, of Queenstown, made it a family day out for her children Kobi (2) and Tomi Foster (4), along with friend Sarah Dobson and her children Oliver (4) and Lewis Clark (6).

It was her first time picking cherries and had been a good opportunity to teach the children about looking out for others.

“It’s good that the children really understand what they’re doing.”