Two tonnes of food a day are dropped off to the food rescue division of Good Neighbour Trust in Tauranga. Two tonnes!
That's food that can't be sold, for various reasons, by supermarkets in the Bay of Plenty. That two tonnes is then redistributed to almost 60 charities in the Bay every day.
Those are some pretty astonishing figures huh? A: that there's that much food that would essentially go to landfill if it wasn't for Good Neighbour and similar organisations, and B: that there's THAT MUCH of a daily need for food in Tauranga alone!
The food might just have damaged packaging or be within a day or so of its "sell by" date. That's not "use by", that's "SELL by". So it's perfectly good kai, but can't or won't be used by the supermarket.
Last weekend I had the honour of MC-ing the Cooking Theatre at the Tauranga Homeshow. Chef Peter Blakeway cooked five dishes a day with only rescued food. We had pulled pork, venison, beef medallions, salmon and the most amazing chocolate mousse! Firstly, kind of amazing that he actually had time to do this while being a head chef at Toi Ohomai's various training courses and a rep for crazy chemistry celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal! The Bay is full of such talented people huh?!
I also once beat Chef Blakeway in a cooking competition for a radio station promotion… because I mercilessly bribed the entire judging crowd with copious amounts of chocolate and free stuff. Let me put it this way… he did beef three different ways and made ice cream out of dry ice… I cooked meatballs! The man is a legend and I was stoked to be able to watch him work.
He's helping raise awareness and money for Good Neighbour to create one of the best commercial kitchens in the BOP that will help keep Good Neighbour supporting and helping the community by selling products made there. It will also be used to teach other locals, communities and organisations to cook nutritious food for jack all cost.
Congrats to the Tauranga Homeshow for supporting such a noble local cause and caring about the community that supports them. Do me a favour, go and check out www.goodneighbour.co.nz for all of the fantastic work they do and if you want to volunteer.
Will Johnston is host of The Hits 95FM Day Show. Live and local from 9am-3pm, every weekday in the Bay of Plenty.