Almost a year on from opening, Kaibosh Kāpiti have hit 57 tonnes of food saved from waste and given to those in need in the Kāpiti community.
Coming at a time when the charity is running a month long drive throughout the Wellington region to provide 100,000 meals for those in need throughout the month of May, Kaibosh Kāpiti is hitting its stride, providing food for 27 charities around the district.
Holding an official launch in March last year, but impacted straight away by Covid-19, the Kāpiti branch began operating in May last year.
For the first month they began picking food up from two supermarkets, Countdown Paraparaumu and Countdown Waikanae.
Now with four more supermarkets around the region, Pak'nSave and New World in Paraparaumu, New World and Countdown in Ōtaki getting on board, Kaibosh has built a strong relationship with supermarkets around the region along with also receiving vegetables from Waikawa Fresh in Waikawa Beach.
"It took us a couple of months to get rolling and we've now brought on more staff and volunteers to help," Kāpiti operations manager Ben Wakefield.
To add to the 57 tonne total, Kaibosh has also been receiving around 4-5 tonnes of food per week from the New Zealand Food Network which provides food rescue operations around the country with bulk supplies from big companies such as Sanitarium and Fonterra to add to their food boxes.
Supporting 27 groups around the district, Kaibosh gives charities such as Birthright Kāpiti, Pathways, The Salvation Army, Waikanae Foodbank, Kāpiti Impact Trust, Zeal, Barnardos, Hub Church Ōtaki and Te Ara Korowai.
"Some of the charities will take the food, make food parcels and distribute it out themselves, some will take the food and make meals to give out, while others will take ready-made food such as Zeal who just want stuff they can heat up and give to the youth."
Organising the food and putting it into different categories, Kaibosh tries to provide each group with what they need.
"I always have a conversation with them, asking what they're doing with the food so we can give them what they need.
"There's a back and forward relationship where we're constantly talking.
"Some communities, the way they're living they don't want too much processed food, so we won't give them any cereals like Coco Pops and will give them whole chickens rather than processed meat.
"Some charities are small and will only take two boxes, some will take 20 or as much as they can get and some just want some milk and biscuits for morning tea.
"We give to a varied group of people."
Over the last year Ben has found his main donors, the supermarkets, great to work with.
"The supermarkets have been a breeze to work with.
"It's a new concept for them as we are in essence collecting their waste stream.
"Countdown nationwide want to be waste and landfill free by 2025 which helps our operation.
"They've set up a fund to support food rescue organisations around the country so we can apply for funding from them for drivers, vans, and so on because they realise what we're doing actually supports them with this sustainability goal."
This month Kaibosh has set a goal of raising the funds to provide 100,000 meals for those in need.
Give a Meal in May / Haratua Takoha Kai asks people to donate to Kaibosh what they would normally spend on a meal out.
"The impacts of the Covid-19 crisis have made it even harder for those struggling to make ends meet," Kaibosh general manager Matt Dagger said.
"Responding to increased demand for food whilst navigating the challenges of the Covid-19 crisis has meant we've had to quickly, and regularly, adapt to get food to those who need it."
In the 12 months from April 2020 to March 2021, Kaibosh has provided 465,289kg of food (the equivalent of over 1.3 million meals) to more than 100 Wellington, Hutt Valley, Kāpiti and Horowhenua community groups who support those most in need.
"This May we're reaching out to the good people of Wellington and Aotearoa, requesting help to provide 100,000 meals for people in need.
"Together, we can make a real difference for our community and our environment."
For every $20 donated, Kaibosh can provide 32 meals to those who need it most.
To give visit www.kaibosh.org.nz or contact Kāpiti operations manager Ben Wakefield at firstname.lastname@example.org.