Countdown has announced the recipients of its $150,000 Food Rescue Partners Contestable Fund, the second year this funding has been made available, and a $30,000 increase versus last year.
The contestable fund was established in late 2016 in response to feedback from food rescue charities that there is little financial assistance available to help the sector grow and thrive.
Kiri Hannifin, Countdown’s General Manager Corporate Affairs said that it was these funding challenges together with the growth of charities working in food rescue that encouraged Countdown to extend the fund this year.
“We were blown away by both the number and quality of applications this year. Almost all of our partners applied and it is clear these organisations run increasingly sophisticated operations and make huge contributions to communities across New Zealand. Overwhelmingly support was sought for operating costs, whether that meant money to help pay for a team member, a van for delivery or more refrigeration to store food for the growing number of families in need,” said Hannifin.
This year’s recipients of the Countdown Food Rescue Partners Contestable Fund are:
The Salvation Army receives $25,000 to extend its busy Royal Oak foodbank hub as well as upgrade fridges and freezers in eight community food banks around the country. Last year The Salvation Army distributed more than 63,000 food parcels to New Zealanders in need.
City Harvest in Christchurch receives $23,000 towards the salary of an additional operations coordinator to support the organisation’s rapid growth.
Fair Food in Auckland receives $22,000 to employ an additional driver and support the set-up of a new distribution base in West Auckland.
Satisfy Food Rescue in Kaiapoi receives $20,000 for its first official and dedicated food rescue vehicle - a chiller van to collect and transport food.
KiwiHarvest in Auckland receives $20,000 towards the salary of an additional driver, to meet additional demand for food and extend food rescue collections in new parts of Auckland.
Kaivolution in Hamilton receives $20,000 for operating costs to extend food rescue collections in both existing Countdown stores and new areas within the Waikato region.
Kaibosh Food Rescue in Wellington receives $15,000 to support their annual fundraising event, All Taste No Waste.
Just Zilch in Palmerston North receives $5000 towards its Piece of Cake annual fundraising drive.
KiwiHarvest CEO Deborah Manning said demand for food continues to climb and funding that is specifically set aside for food rescue is critical to grow.
“The ability to add a new part-time staff member to our Auckland team to assist with our operations and delivery will make a huge difference to the amount of food we can rescue and redistribute every week, having a direct impact on the number of food donors and recipient agencies we can partner with,” said Manning. "The funding Countdown has provided for this position means our operations will be more agile and resilient and is vital for the next step in KiwiHarvest’s development.”
All Countdown stores partner with The Salvation Army and other food rescue groups to donate food that would otherwise be destined for landfill. In the last financial year, Countdown donated $3.7 million in food to people in need through its food rescue partners, plus a further $2.1 million to farmers as food scraps for their animals.
Countdown announced last year that it is working towards zero food waste by 2020 as part of the company’s Corporate Responsibility 2020 strategy.