Anti-waste char­ity ex­pand­ing

Central Leader - - OUT & ABOUT - JAMES PASLEY

A bulk food re­cy­cling char­ity is ex­pand­ing as it fights to re­duce and re­use Auck­land’s ed­i­ble waste.

Mayor Phil Goff of­fi­cially opened Kiwi Har­vest’s new re­cy­cled head­quar­ters in Eller­slie on Fe­bru­ary 22.

Kiwi Har­vest col­lects food from com­mer­cial food providers that would oth­er­wise be thrown out and de­liv­ers it to char­i­ties, refuges and food banks across Auck­land where it is turned into meals.

The char­ity be­gan in a do­nated of­fice, be­fore mov­ing to a tem­po­rary ware­house in Good­man Busi­ness Park in Eller­slie. It’s now re­lo­cated to its new per­ma­nent space in the car park of the busi­ness park.

The base in­cludes an of­fice made of four 20 foot con­tain­ers, a ware­house made of three 40 foot con­tain­ers and a fridge made out of a sin­gle 40 foot con­tainer.

Man­ager Maria Madill said ca­pac­ity had been the char­ity’s biggest is­sue.

Since 2015 Kiwi Har­vest col­lected 262 tonnes of food around Auck­land, 70 per cent of which was fresh pro­duce.

With the new fa­cil­i­ties the char­ity could plan ahead and make food go fur­ther.

Kiwi Har­vest aimed to col­lect more than 360 tonnes of food this year.

The food it col­lects var­ied widely from pas­sion­fruit ice cream with not enough swirl to leftover steaks from butcher events.

When Kiwi Har­vest was given a spe­cialty food like ri­cotta or aubergine they sent it to a des­ti­na­tion with a chef.

‘‘We have a run sheet, the drivers know where they are col­lect­ing from and then which char­i­ties to de­liver to.

‘‘We have to un­der­stand what the char­i­ties can take, need and want.’’

Madill said there would be more con­tain­ers com­ing - one for a pro­fes­sional kitchen and one for a per­ma­nent freezer.

For Madill food was the most im­por­tant thing to start a con­ser­va­tion.

‘‘Food is the one thing peo­ple ab­so­lutely need, it’s what opens the door and brings them in search of help.’’

The United Na­tion’s Food and Agri­cul­ture Or­gan­i­sa­tion es­ti­mated 1.3 bil­lion tonnes of food is wasted ev­ery year.

In Novem­ber 2015 a rub­bish bin au­dit found New Zealand house­holds were wast­ing $872 mil­lion of food ev­ery year.

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