Medal for food star Trish

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By Mick Jensen

While her aqua fitness mates are discussing where to go on their next holidays after a session in the pool, Trish McLaren is planning baking and preserving projects.

Both activities are big parts of her life – and a reason why she has just received a Kiwibank Local Hero Award in the Senior New Zealander of the Year category.

Trish has cooked and donated items to Ronald McDonald House for a number of years and since 2016 has sold her pickles, chutneys and jams and raised thousands at Ashburton Farmer’s Market to support the same cause.

She is also a prolific knitter and has made hundreds of baby items and hats for people in poor countries.

Trish, 80, says she intends baking, “bottling to excess” and “giving” until she dies.

She accepted the Kiwibank Local Hero Award, she said, because it helped promote her market sales and also “because she was too old to care any more”.

She has just baked up batches of shortcake and gingernut biscuits for sale at the farmer’s market and an overflow of broccoli has just found its ways into jars of chow chow pickle, alongside cauliflower, spices, mustard seeds and other ingredients.

This season’s market proceeds for Ronald McDonald House already stand at an impressive $3000.

Trish was nominated for the Local Hero Award by aquacise friend Betty Andrews, who calls her “an amazing lady”, and will find out if she has made the top 10 semi finalists by the end of the month.