Minister announces funding to expand food rescue programme for Northland communities

More food is set to be rescued and redistributed in Northland as part of the Government’s plan to reduce the amount of waste ending up in landfills announced Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage in Whangarei today.

$350,700 from the Ministry for the Environment’s Waste Minimisation Fund (WMF) is being dedicated to expanding the One Double Five Whare Awhina Community House Trust food rescue programme to more Northland communities.

“The new funding allows the Trust to build on its successful Whangarei-based project, started in 2016, which has diverted 22 tonnes of food from landfill, providing meals for almost 17,000 people,” said Eugenie Sage.

“Funding for the expanded project will allow the Trust to establish a second warehouse and distribution centre, based in Moerewa, which will serve more communities such as Kawakawa, Kaikohe, Kaeo, Kerikeri and surrounding areas in Northland.

"It’s a great celebration of the leadership that the One Double Five Whare Awhina Community House Trust has demonstrated for food waste management in their community.

“The Trust has achieved outstanding results for the whānau in their community, and it is a tribute to project leader Dr Carol Peters and her entire team.

“I applaud what Dr Peters said when she started this project: ‘On the one side we've got food wasted and producing greenhouse gases, over the other side we've got hungry people. It's putting two together basically.’

“This approach aligns with the government’s strategy to invest in food rescue programmes through the Waste Minimisation Fund which is set up to tackle New Zealand’s woeful track record on waste.

“Doing this requires a collaborative effort across government, business and community organisations such as the Trust.

“The new funding aims to reduce the large amount of unnecessary food waste in Northland, while increasing food security for people in areas that are socio-economically disadvantaged. The food rescue programme redistributes excess food from suppliers such as supermarkets and growers to distributors such as schools and marae.

“The project has been trialled and proven it can succeed in Whangarei. The funding will allow it to expand in areas where there is need from tamariki to elderly folk alike.

“At the same time it is helping to address our waste problem. It’s a win-win-win for everyone” said Eugenie Sage.