Countdown has opened its second year of contestable funding for its Food Rescue charity partners, and in 2018 has increased the amount of funding available up to $120,000.

The Countdown Food Rescue Partners Contestable Fund was established in late 2016 in response to feedback from charities working in the food rescue space that there is limited funding dedicated to helping the sector grow and thrive.

Countdown’s Food Rescue programme is the largest in the country, with all 184 stores partnering 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.

The inaugural Contestable Fund last year has helped support seven of Countdown’s Food Rescue partners with a variety of projects:

·         Love Soup Hibiscus Coast received $15,000 to purchase their first official vehicle for food rescue collections and deliveries.

·         KiwiHarvest Auckland received $25,000 to purchase a 20-foot freezer container which has enabled them to now receive and store donations of frozen product.

·         Kaivolution in Hamilton received $10,000 to go towards the purchase of new equipment for their new and expanded premises.

·         The Salvation Army received $5,500 for a new freezer and two vertical chillers for The People’s Pantry, a shop style foodbank in Waitakere, Auckland.

·         Kaibosh Food Rescue, Wellington, received $15,000 towards its All Taste, No Waste annual fundraising event plus a special donation of an additional $25,000 in relation to the significant impact the Kaikoura earthquake had on its operations.

·         Good Neighbour in Tauranga received $20,000 towards kitchen equipment for their new trial teaching and production kitchen

·         Fair Food NZ in Auckland received $10,000 for fundraising.

Kate Porter, Countdown’s National Communications & Public Affairs Manager, says Countdown expects the range of applications to be just as strong in 2018.

“We partner with a passionate and skilled group of food rescue organisations around the country and we’ve seen first-hand the difference a new vehicle or walk-in chiller can make to enable an organisation to collect more food or provide more food to people in need.

“There is limited funding available to support these charity organisations’ future growth; as part of our commitment towards zero food waste, we want to help play our part so they can build their capacity and increase their ability to rescue food,” says Ms Porter.

The Countdown Food Rescue Partners Contestable Fund is open for applications now until 23 February 2018.

Application forms and criteria are available online: