New Zealand’s largest food rescue organisation, KiwiHarvest, has announced the opening of its new Invercargill branch. The branch has been operational since earlier this month, enabling KiwiHarvest to meet growing food demand in Invercargill – particularly as food demand spikes in the wake of extended Alert Level 4 restrictions.
The Invercargill branch will enable the organisation to deliver food to communities initially across Invercargill, and potentially throughout the Southland region in the months to come.
Gavin Findlay, KiwiHarvest CEO, says, “There has been a real need for food support in the Invercargill region and we have been exploring establishing a presence there for the last six to twelve months. But it is only recently that we received enough funding to set up this branch thanks to generous support from Countdown and through a number of local grants.
“We are delighted to finally have this branch operational, extending our services to Invercargill families in need. This month’s Alert Level 4 lockdown has resulted in surges in food demand across the entire country so it’s a privilege to be able to supplement existing food support services in Southland and provide further assistance to these communities during what is a difficult time for many Kiwi families.”
Jessie Beer, KiwiHarvest’s Invercargill Branch Coordinator says in the past three weeks they have already distributed over 2,700 kilos of food.
“It has certainly been a challenge heading into lockdown during the very early days of getting established especially as demand will grow as lockdown continues. Currently we are working with three local supermarkets, two wholesalers, and are in the process of onboarding new donors to service this rising demand.
“Two large donations were welcomed from Solander Gourmet Seafood and Bidfood, which has made a huge difference for our recipients but we need all the support we can get. We have already engaged with more than 20 recipient agencies (charities and community groups) throughout the Invercargill region and their feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.
“We are pleased to be able to make a difference – and I’m looking forward to the coming months as we continue to develop our presence in Southland, supporting whānau and individuals in need,” concludes Beer.
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 250 registered charities and community groups that includes welfare groups, marae, city missions, local Salvation Army groups and schools.
Since its establishment in 2012, it has rescued over 6.3 million kilos of food and delivered over 18 million meal equivalents to vulnerable Kiwis.
For more information visit www.kiwiharvest.org.nz