In the face of growing unemployment and food insecurity caused by the economic fallout of the COVID-19 crisis, supermarket Countdown has launched the Food for Good Foundation.
The new foundation aims to provide Kiwis with meaningful and long-lasting support, and has been kickstarted with a $1 million donation to food welfare and food rescue charities.
An additional $500,000 has been earmarked for donation to Countdown’s food rescue partners over the next few years, and the business is hoping to raise a further $1 million through community fundraising and food appeals.
“We’ve been in regular contact with our main charity partners for the last two months – first, to provide the immediate food support they urgently needed, but also to understand how we can best help in the coming months and year,” said Kiri Hannifin, Countdown’s general manager of corporate affairs, safety and sustainability.
“Overwhelmingly, they told us that the need they are seeing is not going to go away.”
Charity partners expressed an ongoing need for longer-term financial support, in order to ramp up their ability to tackle a growing problem.
Jono Bell, The Salvation Army’s territorial community ministries director, said that foodbanks across New Zealand have been inundated with requests for help.
“The reality is that Aotearoa already had significant food poverty and food insecurity – this isn’t a new problem,” Bell said.
“However, we’re now seeing an influx of people who have lost their jobs, or whose salary or wages have been reduced. These are households all over the country, all from different backgrounds, who can no longer meet their rent or mortgage costs or pay their bills.”