Make the most of waste by the Auckland Council

Social enterprise getting excess food to hungry mouths

Published: Thursday 9 November 2017

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For food-rescue organisation KiwiHarvest, a zero-waste grant from Auckland Council meant being able to say ‘yes’ more often when companies offer donations, meaning more food is getting to people who need it.

The social enterprise, which collects good food before it goes to waste and gets it to those in need, used a $20,000 grant from the Waste Minimisation and Innovation Fund to help get their warehouse ready for action.

The fit-out included a commercial-grade dishwasher and kitchenware, a forklift and trolley, safety equipment, and a computer to help manage their inventory.

Adding capacity to do more good work

“Having our warehouse operational has meant we can say yes to food donors when they call offering their surplus products,” says Maria Madill, manager of KiwiHarvest Auckland.  

“Being able to take bulk deliveries and store them in our dry store or chiller means we can distribute more evenly among our social service agencies and community groups.”

In February, KiwiHarvest rescued 20 tonnes of food – but with their warehouse fully operational in March, they were able to rescue 48 tonnes.

Everyone wins when less goes to waste

“In the last five months, we’ve rescued more than 142 tonnes of food considered waste and redistributed it as nourishing food for those in need,” says Maria.

“We’ve also provided a socially responsible alternative to dumping surplus food in landfill to more than 100 businesses."

“We’ve supported more than 130 social service agencies and community groups with their food programmes for vulnerable people, allowing them to use their financial resources for other projects.”

The next round of Waste Minimisation and Innovation Fund grants will be open for applications in April 2018. 

To find out more about KiwiHarvest, you can follow them on Facebook.