Community Impact Award and Auckland Council Mega Efficiency Impact Award Winner
Winner: Kaibosh Food Rescue
Depending on which study you read, anywhere between 40 to 70 per cent of food ends up wasted, if not in landfills.
Wellington not-for-profit Kaibosh is doing something about that, picking up excess or unsold food from about 30 firms around the city and distributing it to a similar number of organisations and charities.
“It all comes down to logistics. The supply chain puts too much emphasis on the sales point so there are hideous amounts of waste food from the modern way we consume,” says Kaibosh chair George Langlands.
Kaibosh started in 2008 with a phone call to the Wellington Women’s Refuge from gourmet lunchmaker Wishbone offering leftover meals.
The call was fielded by volunteer Robyn Langlands, who agreed to pick them up when she collected George from work.
“There’s this weird thing with consumer psychology where people don’t like buying fresh food on the day it expires, so they were throwing out food at the end of the day that, even if you were going on the best before date, was good for consumption for another 24 hours,” George Langlands says.
He expected to collect a shopping bag of sandwiches, but got two bin liners of meals, still in their plastic cases.
“It was way more than they needed at the refuge so we dropped off some at the Wellington City Mission and other places, and we did that for the next couple of months.
That’s when they got serious, raising funds, hiring space with chillers, and building a team of paid staff as well as volunteers to ensure food could be collected reliably, sorted for safety and distributed. “People don’t want to throw food away. “We keep precise records on the weight and type of food that we supply back to them, so we may be doing ourselves out of some sandwiches, but Wishbone as a result of us feeding back is able to manage its supply chain better.”