Foodstuffs’ brands – New World, PAK’nSAVE, Four Square, Gilmours and Trents – has committed to donate more than $1 million to help New Zealanders who are facing tough times due to COVID-19.

As this crisis has evolved, Foodstuffs has focused on supporting team members around the country, especially its essential front-line staff, and ensuring New Zealanders have access to food and grocery products. The donations will enable a number of our social partners to continue supporting New Zealand’s most in-need individuals at a time when they have seen significant reductions in contributions and increased demand. It will also enable social/charitable partners to expand initiatives focused on getting groceries to our most physically and financially vulnerable at this challenging time.

The organisations will include existing partnerships such as food banks, food rescue partners, Eat My Lunch, and the Student Volunteer Army. Foodstuffs stores donated the equivalent of 8 million meals to New Zealanders through food rescue partnerships alone last year and is determined to continue supporting social partners’ incredible work at a time when New Zealanders need it the most.

“We are grateful for the patience and kindness New Zealanders are showing as we continue to navigate these challenging times together,” said Steve Anderson, CEO Foodstuffs South Island. “We are committed to our responsibility to feed New Zealand, and we look forward to working with our partners over the coming weeks to provide them with meaningful financial and practical support.”

Foodstuffs has already donated $80,000 via New World to support the innovative Student Volunteer Army initiative which helps get groceries to homebound elderly and vulnerable individuals. This service is currently available in Hamilton, Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch and Dunedin, and has expanded to Auckland this week.

“We saw the need to support our older and more vulnerable members of our community and enable them to keep themselves safe during this difficult time, and ensuring they were able to access groceries was an important part of that puzzle,” said Sam Johnson, Founder and Chief Executive of the Student Volunteer Army. “New World's support and partnership in making that happen has been integral in enabling us to scale quickly and safely.”

“We’re also in close contact with our food bank partners who have been impacted by the lockdown as New Zealanders stay at home and who are unable to give through normal channels,” said Anderson. “We’re helping get products so they can meet the increase in demand many of them have seen from the vulnerable individuals they support.”

Last week, Foodstuffs North Island announced a $100,000 contribution to kickstart an Eat My Lunch initiative to deliver food packs, containing a week’s worth of ingredients for lunches, to the homes of the 2,000 children who used to benefit from its social programme across schools in Auckland and Wellington.

“It’s been an incredibly challenging time keeping up with the customer demand in our stores, but we also know the need for some New Zealanders is critical,” said Chris Quin, CEO, Foodstuffs North Island. “Providing Eat My Lunch with funds so they can kickstart their initiative is a pragmatic, efficient way to help where organisations need it the most.”

“Just because schools are closed doesn’t mean the need to feed hungry kids goes away,” says Lisa King, Founder, Eat My Lunch. “As we start to experience the economic impact of COVID-19, we know there will be an even greater need to help those less fortunate. We are more committed than ever to continue our mission of feeding hungry Kiwi kids. The support from Foodstuffs to get this new programme underway has meant we can hit the ground running and ensure our smallest New Zealanders aren’t going without during these testing times.”

Foodstuffs will provide a list of donation recipients and the monies they have received in one month and will continue to work with its key social partners to identify and address New Zealanders’ needs during these challenging times.