Food rescue group redistributes surplus food to community

By Leah Te Whata
  • Northland

A food rescue project in Northland has collected five tonnes of quality surplus food from food retailers and redistributed it to the community during a three months trial.

Food Rescue Northland are taking the load off food retailers and redistributing surplus food to the community.

Community organiser Carol Peters says, "This is really important because there's a lot of food that we produce in Te Tai Tokerau, probably 40% of the food that we produce is discarded."

Warehouse Assistant Samantha Cassidy says families with a low-income struggle to put healthy food on the table, but Whakaora Kai is changing that reality.

"To know that we were going to get kai that was avocado's, fruits, apples, to give out to the organisations and others that provide for our whānau out there sustainable healthy kai, I thought, oh man, that's what we need."

Eighty-five percent of Northland's children are born to families in the lower half of the socio-economic scale, schools are among those that receive surplus food.

Manaia View School Principal Leanne Otene says, "The kids are just over the moon and a lot of these kids are the ones that we're providing breakfast for and morning tea and lunch anyway."

Cassidy says, "We feel a bit like Santa Clause, Hanakoko giving that kai over and seeing the smiles especially on the tamariki's face."

The Food Rescue Northland initiative officially launched today and will start in Whangarei, with goals to eventually expand across the entire Tai Tokerau region.