KiwiHarvest, New Zealand’s largest dedicated food rescue organisation, collects safe-to-consume surplus food that would otherwise be added to landfill, and redirects this food to communities in need. This redistribution of consumable food not only helps to build food secure communities, but reduces the methane emissions created from food decomposing in landfill.
Through 3M’s community investment arm, 3Mgives, 3M Foundation has provided a grant in the amount of US$50,000 (NZD$71,998) to KiwiHarvest to aid in their expansion in the Otago region, supporting communities impacted heaviest by the COVID-19 pandemic. Communities in Otago have recorded as much as a 200% increase in demand for food relief services, highlighting the pressure Otago residents are facing due to the pandemic, as well as vital declining tourism spending.
KiwiHarvest CEO, Gavin Findlay describes food insecurity – a state of being without enough affordable, culturally appropriate, and nutritious food, as a major problem within these communities – which was further exhausted due to the 2020 pandemic.
The program provides the equivalent of 190,000 meals to individuals and families over the course of 12 months, as travel and tourism industries cope with the global impact of the pandemic. Furthermore, the program has enabled the addition of a KiwiHarvest truck and driver to service the expanded Otago region, allowing farmers to donate their surplus food to decrease food spoilage. The contribution from 3M Foundation has also assisted in welcoming increased administrative, sorting, and packaging employees, as well as material handling and storage facilities.
3M Managing Director for Australia and New Zealand Chris LeBlanc says “It’s important that 3M holds true to its core values during this pandemic by supporting our communities and improving lives. Throughout this global crisis, we will continue to look for ways to help in the fight against COVID-19. We hope our contribution will make a difference to the communities affected in these hard-hit regions.”
For more information about KiwiHarvest and their solution to landfill and food insecurity, click here.