A company has marked the donation of its millionth loaf of bread to charity by setting up a trust to help struggling New Zealand families.
Goodman Fielder's assistance to 60 food banks and city missions over the past seven years has been worth about $3 million.
Managing director Peter Reidie, visiting the Auckland City Mission yesterday, said the bread was produced specifically for food aid and was not excess stock.
Mr Reidie said the company would keep up its "daily bread" programme and would also set up a charitable trust with the aim of fighting hunger and poverty.
Goodman Fielder would invite its 2000 employees in New Zealand to volunteer for certain causes and to contribute some of their wages in a workplace giving programme that the firm would match dollar for dollar.
Some of the voluntary work would be in company time. For example, at the firm's Auckland office, staff would help the city mission run its food bank or wrap Christmas presents for the mission's annual lunch.
Each emergency family food parcel packed by the mission includes two fresh loaves.
Auckland City Missioner Diane Robertson said the company had ensured a consistent supply of fresh, good-quality food. "You can't feed families stale, second-class food."
Workplace-giving programmes were well received by NZ workers, said Robert Reid, head of the First Union, whose membership includes employees of Goodman Fielder.
"However, we don't like it if low-paid workers are asked to donate when the company gets good publicity for it."