The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

Community food assistance more critical now says KiwiHarvest CEO

Community food assistance more critical now says KiwiHarvest CEO

New Zealand’s largest food rescue organisation, KiwiHarvest, is focused on meeting demand as research from the Ministry of Health reveals the number of Kiwi children experiencing food insecurity has witnessed the largest year-on-year jump in over a decade.

Over 21 percent of children (0-14 years) live in households where food runs out often or sometimes – a 6.9 percent jump from the 2021/2 to 2022/3 period.

To help combat this KiwiHarvest says it can stretch just $5 to feed a family of four for a day – 12 meals overall.

The organisation currently partners with 270 food businesses and diverts edible, nutritious kai from going to waste and delivers it to vulnerable communities. By collecting and redistributing high-quality food and streamlining its operational costs, including volunteers, KiwiHarvest provides food support to its 220 recipient charities at a cost far lower than the Government’s Healthy School Lunches Programme – which costs up to $8.62 for a single lunch, and is now under review.

KiwiHarvest CEO Angela Calver reports that despite food deliveries increasing by 32 percent in 2023 – which feeds approximately 40,000 people per week – they still fall short of addressing demand in the communities of their recipient charities.

“The need for food assistance in our communities is more critical than ever. We hear from our recipient charities every day that they’re experiencing the highest demand they’ve ever seen with many new people turning to them for help, including middle-class, double-income households. Families are struggling to put food on the table, and we need everyone’s help to get more food where it’s desperately needed.”

Judy Speight, from one of KiwiHarvest’s recipient charities, Accelerating Aotearoa, emphasises the impact that this food support has on their community.

“Eighty-seven percent of our calls now are from whānau seeking urgent help to access food. KiwiHarvest donations are our main source, enabling us to distribute up to 500 food parcels each month, a marked increase on previous years.”

Internationally acclaimed chef, Peter Gordon, is part of the KiwiHarvest Collective – a supergroup of chefs who support the cause.

Peter says, “As a chef, I know firsthand the challenges of creating a nutritious meal with limited resources. We’re seeing so many families doing it tough right now, so it’s inspiring to see how KiwiHarvest is tackling the issue. I would struggle to produce a satisfying main meal of the day for a family of four with only $5, let alone providing breakfast and lunch on the same budget.

“Realistically, $5 just isn’t enough to buy healthy produce for three fulfilling mealtimes. Thankfully, KiwiHarvest can feed a family for a day with that same amount, which will make a noticeable difference to many families. We can’t ignore this problem anymore, but together we can address food insecurity in our communities.”

KiwiHarvest is urging businesses to join them in their efforts to feed families across New Zealand by donating to their current appeal. With every $5 donated KiwiHarvest will be able to feed another family for a day and make a monumental difference in the lives of those facing food insecurity.

KiwiHarvest partner, HelloFresh, has stepped up to the plate and will be matching dollar for dollar all the donations that their customers raise through the website.For more information on how to donate and support KiwiHarvest’s mission, visit

KiwiHarvest is a national food rescue organisation that collects surplus and donated food and distributes it throughout New Zealand to community organisations, providing food support to those in need.

With branches in Auckland, North Shore, Dunedin, Invercargill and Queenstown, it is New Zealand’s largest food rescue organisation, servicing demand for 220 charitable organisations and community groups that include refuges, homeless shelters, community kitchens, and foodbanks.

Since its establishment in 2012, it has rescued 11.9 million kilos of food and delivered 34.2 million meal equivalents to vulnerable Kiwis. For more information about KiwiHarvest, please visit:

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