Food rescue service expands

Food rescue service KiwiHarvest has expanded its network across Otago, after a 200% increase in food demand from families this year.

KiwiHarvest takes bulk surplus and donated food and delivers it to foodbanks, food rescue organisations, iwi and charities

The food comes from supermarkets, cafes and other businesses that would otherwise waste it because it is nearing its use-by date.

The organisation has delivered to Queenstown and Dunedin in previous years, but thanks to a $50,000 grant from technology company 3M, it will now expand to deliver to Cromwell, Wanaka, Gore and Invercargill.

Chief executive Gavin Findlay said it hoped to increase its output by 200% in Dunedin and 400% in Queenstown over the next 12 months.

The grant meant the organisation could add an extra truck and driver to service the Otago region.

In Queenstown the expansion would also result in an increase in employees doing administration, sorting and packing.

Expanding into the Wanaka and Cromwell area also provided the opportunity for farmers with excess crops to give it away and avoid spoilage.

There was a need for the service in in Otago, many communities having been hit economically by the impact of Covid on tourism and related industries, Mr Findlay said.

"At present, the economic impact on the low to middle-income earners in these communities has been significant."

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