Two supermarkets from small Horowhenua townships took out major prizes at the New Zealand Food Heroes Awards at the weekend.
In a coup for the local service industry, Waitarere Beach Four Square won The Dream Team award and New World Foxton won the Outstanding Service Award at the awards dinner.
The two stores won out against more than 48 finalists among the original 340 businesses that were nominated in seven different categories by people in their communities.
Organisers said the purpose of the awards were to shine a light on New Zealand's unsung food heroes for their behind-the-scenes efforts during New Zealand's Covid-19 response.
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The team at New World Foxton won the awards "for the way they engaged with the community, continued to support food chain industry and adapted
their services – picking up donations to a local food bank and Women's Refuge".
The Dream Team NZ Food Heroes Award went to Waitarere Beach Four Square "for
their unique, local and amazing story of Kiwi community spirit".
"Catering to their small community of approximately 700 people, Waitarere Beach Four Square was open every day managing the needs of their residents so that the community could 'remain a bubble' for a lengthy period of time.
"This would not have been possible without the dedication shown by all at the Waitarere Beach Four Square staff. To us they are the heroes who kept our sanity, provided a smiling face every day and maintained the calm which was all important during this stressful time."
• Massey University Supreme Winner NZ Food Heroes Award: Fair Food Charitable Trust
• Countdown People's Choice NZ Food Heroes Award: Supreme Sikh Society
• New Zealand Food Safety Outstanding Service NZ Food Heroes Award: New World Foxton
Cuisine Local Hero NZ Food Heroes Award: Diana Greer
• James and Wells Innovators NZ Food Heroes Award: SOS Café
New Zealand Trade and Enterprise Industry Supporter NZ Food Heroes Award: Restaurant
Association of New Zealand
• Palmerston North City Council Greater Good NZ Food Heroes Award: Fair Food Charitable
• AsureQuality The Dream Team NZ Food Heroes Award: Waitarere Beach Four Square staff