Each year, the Countdown Food Rescue Programme donates around $3.5 million of surplus food to local food banks and food rescue groups. The Contestable Fund was opened in 2016 with an aim to support projects which have an impact on the Food Rescue Programme. This year, seven organisations received a share of $100,000 in order to grow their programmes.

The seven recipients included Kaibosh, KiwiHarvest, Good Neighbour, Love Soup, Fair Food NZ, Kaivolution and the Salvation Army. Kaibosh also received a further $25,000 to help rebuild their operation, which suffered greatly in the November earthquakes, resulting in them having to move premises.

“The donation from Countdown will help us to recover from the significant financial setback that the quake caused us,” said Kaibosh General Manager Matt Dagger.

James Walker of Countdown said that the fund was designed to aid in reaching Countdown’s goal of zero food waste and reducing its environmental impact.

“It’s important to us that we are also helping grow the food rescue sector’s capabilities over time by contributing financially where we can make a difference,” he said.

The Countdown Food Rescue programme runs year-round, and customers can donate goods in specially marked donation bins.