The manager of a charity feeding people in need says a $35,000 cash injection from Countdown has helped restore the lifeblood to his organisation after its office was destroyed in the November quakes.
Wellington food rescue programme Kaibosh is one of seven charitable organisations to receive funding from Countdown totalling $100,000.
Tonight the supermarket chain announced the first recipients of its inaugural Countdown food rescue partners contestable fund at an event in Wellington.
As well as being awarded $15,000 from the fund, Countdown donated Kaibosh an extra $25,000 to help it rebuild after the November earthquakes.
The contestable fund was established last December to support growing and building the capacity of Countdown's food rescue partners.
Countdown's food rescue programme donates around $3.5 million of surplus food to the Salvation Army and other local foodbanks and food rescue groups each year.
Kaibosh rescues food from several retailers including Countdown in the Wellington and Hutt region before sorting and redistributing fresh, edible produce to community groups helping those in need.
Kaibosh general manager Matt Dagger said the money had filled a huge deficit in their accounting created when the November earthquake destroyed the charity's office.
"Like many charities we didn't have disaster in our budget," he said.
"The donation from Countdown will, in the simplest of terms, help us to recover from the significant financial setback that the quake caused us."
Getting back up and running at new permanent location had "restored the lifeblood" to Kaibosh, Dagger said.
"It really shows us [Countdown is] committed to what we're doing, it's not just a tokenistic gesture.
"It's a proactive commitment to creating positive social change, especially amongst the less fortunate people in the community."
Countdown spokesman James Walker said the fund was designed to help Countdown's food rescue partners expand on the work they already do and recognise the significant contribution they make in supporting Countdown's goal towards zero food waste and reducing its environmental impact.
"Our food rescue partners provide an integral service to people in our communities who need food," he said.
Limited access to funding made it difficult to grow to meet the increasing demand for support, which Countdown hoped to address with the contestable fund.
"It's important to us that we are also helping grow the food rescue sector's capabilities over time by contributing financially where we can help make a difference," Walker said.
The inaugural recipients of the 2017 fund are:
Kaibosh Food Rescue in Wellington receives $15,000 towards its All Taste, No Waste annual fundraising event plus a special donation of an additional $25,000 in relation to the significant impact the November earthquakes had on its operations, resulting in moving premises.
KiwiHarvest in Auckland receives $25,000 to purchase a 20 foot freezer container which will enable it to receive donations of frozen product.
Good Neighbour in Tauranga receives $20,000 to go towards kitchen equipment for its new trial teaching and production kitchen
Love Soup Hibiscus Coast in Whangaparaoa receives $15,000 to purchase its first official vehicle for food rescue collections and deliveries
Fair Food NZ in Auckland receives $10,000 to start an annual fundraising event
Kaivolution in Hamilton receives $10,000 to go towards the purchase of new equipment.
The Salvation Army receives $5500 for a new freezer and two vertical chillers for The People's Pantry, a new "shop style" foodbank in Waitakere, Auckland.