Unsold food feeds community’s hungry
There may be a few more hungry pigs in Tokoroa but Countdown’s Food Rescue Programme has certainly reduced the number of hungry humans.
Countdown Tokoroa store manager Duane Delany said every week the store donated up to $2500 worth of food to Love Soup and local food banks.
‘‘There has always been participation with the Salvation Army which has become real strong in the last five years, but since 2013 this store has also been helping out Love Soup,’’ he said.
Through donated products which are damaged, reaching, or just past their best before dates, more than 500 meals per week are distributed by Love Soup to people and charities in need.
That includes aiding 270 kids through the Kids Kai healthy lunch programme at two local schools on Wednesdays, a community meal at the Salvation Army every fortnight on Mondays, and providing fruit and vegetables to senior citizens on Sundays.
‘‘We mark products down to sell but if we deam a product of still edible quality but we wouldn’t sell it, that is when it goes to people like Love Soup,’’ Delany said.
‘‘Nothing that has ever [gone past] a use by date ever goes to a charity, that goes straight in the skip, but best before dates do not mean products can’t still be consumed after that date.’’
He said it has dramatically reduced the store’s wastage.
‘‘Previously it all would have gone into the bin or to the pig man but I’m lucky with this store because i’m now in the top couple of stores when it comes to my wastage versus recycling ratio. As a store less than a tonne is going to the dump each week and some local pig men have even gone out of pigs because of it,’’ he said.
Love Soup’s Kathryn-ann Wheeler said Countdown’s contribution was invaluable.
‘‘We have a lot of senior citizens and families which usually have three or more kids coming to the community meals and they don’t just come for the food but also for the company,’’ she said.
‘‘The Kids Kai programme has also made a big change in the children’s behaviour. I didn’t realise how much it affects them education and behaviour wise.’’
‘‘Countdown has amazing,’’ she said. been
Love Soup’s Brian Moke Pouwhare, Countdown’s Charles Conrad-nield, Love Soup’s Kathryn-ann Wheeler, and Countdown’s Duane Delany.