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FoodShare manager Pip Wood said more than 70 volunteers collected unwanted but edible food from more than 30 donor businesses, such as grocery stores, restaurants, caterers, bakeries, cafes and farmers' markets.
The food was then distributed to more than 20 social service agencies.
The 504,300 meals saved totalled more than 176 tonnes of food, Ms Wood said.
''The one thing they can control in their budget is their food, so they don't eat,'' Ms Wood said.
Foodshare had been operating for three years, and the demand and resulting growth had been ''exponential'' but more food donors were needed.
''We can help them to help us and to help the community.''
The organisation needed more money from businesses to meet the demand, and every dollar given to FoodShare provided three meals for a Dunedin resident.
''Every dollar feeds a Dunedin person for a day.''
FoodShare chief executive Deborah Manning said businesses should give to Foodshare because it was Dunedin residents who benefited from their support.
''It's time for businesses to start investing in their own community,'' she said.
''Invest in us so we can take that investment and turn it into something real in the community ... ''