NO Waste, NO Hunger is part of Good Neighbour Trust’s mission which has five arms, Food Rescue being a huge part of how we support community. Behind the charity are 13 staff and over 500 volunteers as well as a very decicated Board of Trustees, sponsors and supporters.
Good Neighbour rescues food destined for landfill from 13 local supermarkets and a variety of commercial food suppliers. We also have our own fruit picking team who make a significiant contribution, picking 7% of all our rescued food.
Every week Food Rescue saves an average of 11 tonnes of food and redistributes it to 76 local charites and organisatioins from Katikati to Te Puke. The organisations receiving this food range from animal rescue groups to overnight shelters, schools, kindergartens and hauora as well as five official food banks in the area.
Waipu Hauora, one of the Good Neighbour Food Rescue weekly recipients, says, “Since lockdown 2020, Good Neighbour Food Rescue has been supporting the community of Matapihi. What initially began as a necessity support line has blossomed into an amazing working relationship between two proactive support services.” We know that community is supported best when organisations collaborate and work together to help people in need.”
Good Neighbour is proud to be an active member of AFRA, the Aotearoa Food Rescue Alliance, which was formed earlier this year. AFRA offers national support for food rescue organisations to help reduce food waste and increase food security, building capability, advocating policy, supporting through education and impact reporting. Good Neighbour Food Rescue works towards alleviating two challenging issues: food waste and food insecurity.
Current statistics tell us that in New Zealand one third of all food grown, produced and manufactured never even reaches the supermarkets. The average family wastes over $650 worth of food annually, and one in every five children is faced with food insecurity. So with that in mind, we decided to help further reduce food waste and renovated our premises to create a commercial kitchen.
GOOD NEIGHBOUR KITCHEN
The kitchen becomes a hive of activity in the mornings with the ‘Boys Programme’, where we offer mentoring through the kitchen with life skills training. We are carefully building afternoon bulk food production cooking and community cooking classes to promote knowledge, confidence and practical skills around handling our most basic need, food, while using what has been rescued from the bin. This allows us to partner further with community groups, cook for our volunteers, and cater events we run for the staff, sponsors and wider community groups.
Working with rescued food is exciting. It’s the unknown and uncertainty of what’s on the menu today that keeps us guessing. For those who know kitchens you will understand the planning needed to meet demand. While this is all happening, we are aware we could rescue more products from what is deemed by society as rubbish.
The process is pretty basic, we remove what is unusable and make the rest of the product safe to eat. This involves cutting, cleaning, preparing, cooking, packing and cooling. The kitchen’s challenge is providing a usable product for consumption that our varied organisations we support recognise as a dish they see has value to their communities.
We would like to take more of the waste and turn it into a safe food for eating and believe, given the right resources, that potential could be met. We currently have a volunteer team that comes in once a week to process mainly produce into soups, stews and the occasional pudding for our community groups. We are lucky to have two talented chefs, Lee Pearce and James Broad, to lead the way to best utilise the food saved for greater purpose.
- Food Rescue: Rescues food and redistributes to local charities and organisations.
- Kitchen: Mentors students while learning practical skills in the kitchen.
- Community Gardens: Volunteers grow food for the community.
- Projects: Backyard blitz, firewood and small projects.
- Whānau Care: Equipping families to thrive.
If you would like to support the Kitchen Programme or any of the other great work Good Neighbour do please go to their website to donate
THANK YOU FOR HELPING US MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN OUR COMMUNITY.