KiwiHarvest is New Zealand's largest food rescue organisation, and they are celebrating a decade of operations this year.
Initially established as FoodShare by Deborah Manning in Dunedin in 2012, the organisation collects surplus and donated food that is then distributed to those in need. It started in her garage with a donated fridge/freezer and van but has now grown to work in conjunction with the Australian food rescue organisation OzHarvest.
“I’m profoundly grateful to everyone who has joined our journey over the last ten years. Our story shows what can be achieved when people share a common goal. We can make people's lives shine a bit brighter through the power and mana of nutritious kai and treating and respecting our land as taonga,” said Manning.
Since the start of its operations, KiwiHarvest has distributed over 7.5 million kilograms of food and diverted 20 million kilograms of CO2 equivalent from landfills. They have 276 active food donors, and 227 recipient organisations, while supporting over 35,500 individuals per week.
Since the start of the pandemic, the demand for kiwi harvest has grown exponentially. In the last 24 months alone, it rescued nearly half of its total ten-year volume. “At the start of each lockdown, many food businesses chose to donate food that could no longer be sold. Donations from events companies, caterers and retail organisations provided much-needed support to those struggling in the wake of the pandemic," Said Gavin Findlay, KiwiHarvest CEO.
“It’s been an incredible journey and testament to Deborah’s vision that KiwiHarvest has grown into the fantastic organisation it is today. We’re really proud of what we’ve achieved and we’re not going to rest on our laurels - who knows where the next 10 years will take us.”