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Friday, 19 April 2019 08:21 pm

WATCH: Kaibosh puts the kibosh on food poverty in Wellington

Jun 8th, 2018 | By | Category: Latest News, News

Statistics show Kiwis spend around $872 million annually on food that gets thrown away according to the Wellington City Council.

Kaibosh Food Rescue , a local not for profit organisation, collects surplus food from local supermarkets, and other donors and gives it to community organisations around the Wellington region.

Christel Price,  marketing and fundraising manager says Kaibosh is a combination of words—kai Maori for food, and kibosh meaning putting an end to something.

Christel Price, Marketing and Fundraising Manager for Kaibosh.

She says Kaibosh tries to solve two issues, food waste and food poverty with one solution.

“We rescue quality food seven days a week in the Hutt and Wellington. We have trucks that go out on the road in Wellington and the Hutt, collect food from donors, bring food back to our sites, where a team of volunteers sort it for quality control, and allocate it to 75 community organisations.”

The organisation has been in operating for nearly 10 years and provides around 4000 meals to people in need in Wellington each week

“It’s amazing how many businesses support us. People are becoming more and more aware of how much food is discarded, “Christel Price says.

She says consumers contribute to a lot of food waste..

“For example, going into the supermarket you look at the tomatoes that don’t have marks or look the best. This contributes to a lot of food waste.

Two unique aspects of Kaibosh are its focus on providing mainly healthy, nutritious foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables.

It only partners with community organisations with a proven track record of providing other social services aside from food.

“Providing the quality food helps free up the resources for the community organisation, so they can do what they do best,” Price says.

Food needs are determined by the community organisations themselves.

Volunteers are given a list and the food is sorted accordingly.

Ben Phillips, volunteer manager for the Wellington site, says Kaibosh has 200 volunteers at their Wellington and Hutt locations.

Ben Phillips, Volunteer Manager for the Wellington site.

Their main tasks are quality control.

“There are three tiers of quality control,” Phillips says. We ask our donor organisations to give us food that is still good enough to eat.

When drivers arrive, they are asked to check all the food a second time, and when it arrives in depot, the volunteers again check if it safe to consume.”

He says food safety is a high priority.

“Some volunteer teams have high standards and others have very high standards. The motto is,

If in doubt, throw it out.”

Many city councils are on board with the food waste issue.

Love Food Hate Waste New Zealand,  is a national campaign to encourage and inspire Kiwis toward zero food waste.

Its website offers recipes and tips for better management of surplus food.

A  supermarket display of apples, oranges, kiwifruit, and feijoas. Wellington supermarkets are supporting Kaibosh food rescue

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