Media release, Wellington, 22 June 2023:
Kaibosh has reached an incredible milestone – 10 million meals worth of kai have been provided to the community since New Zealand’s first food rescue started back in 2008.
Kaibosh’s new chief executive, Susie Robertson, says “volunteers are at the heart of this mahi – without them, this milestone could never have been achieved – they are an essential ingredient in this food rescue organisation”.
Over the years more than 700 generous humans have been part of Kaibosh’s volunteer pool, and contributed to getting food to where it needs to be – out to people who need it in our communities. The 10 million meals were notched up just before National Volunteer Week, 18-25 June. Currently more than 150 people volunteer at Kaibosh, outnumbering the operation staff by more than ten to one.
Vanessa Ward has been volunteering for Kaibosh in Lower Hutt since 2017. She started out supporting a Food Rescue Driver collecting food and then moved on to Food Sorting.
“It’s something I’m really drawn towards. Redistributing food that would be wasted – that just makes sense. I grew up in a household that didn’t waste anything. We made soup with the last veges and used up everything.”
Volunteers work as a team of food sorters to check and quality control the surplus food which has been collected by Kaibosh Food Rescue Drivers.
“The social aspect too” says Vanessa – “I went through 3 years of being too unwell to work, so volunteering and to connect with people was important for me.”
The Wellington Boy’s & Girl’s Institute (BGI) has received food from Kaibosh since the early years of the food rescue programme and says the Kaibosh mission and mahi has been incredibly impactful.
“At BGI we started on the 0% food waste journey as a direct influence of Kaibosh kaupapa and have not looked back!” says Michael Person, Head Chef, Community Kitchen/Garden Coordinator at BGI.
“We now feed and educate families and young people towards best practise and help them eat nutritionally and affordably through our BGI community kitchen. These programs wouldn’t be possible without the support of Kaibosh and their dedicated volunteer team.”
Kaibosh’s achievement has stopped more than 3.5million kilograms of food from being needlessly wasted, saving the equivalent of 90,000 kg of carbon emissions from entering our atmosphere.