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Food Secure Communities

Supporting communities to become food secure while addressing additional demand on foodbanks, food rescue and other community food services.

The Ministry is investing $32 million over the next two years to provide support for foodbanks, food rescue and other community organisations who are distributing food.

Demand for food has significantly increased for foodbanks since COVID-19 restrictions were implemented. Increased levels of unemployment and economic hardship will result in more people vulnerable to food insecurity.

As Civil Defence Emergency Management Groups step down from supporting foodbanks, this funding ensures that there will be longer-term support.

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Addressing additional demand and building food secure communities

Foodbanks and other organisations will receive funding to meet the increased demand for food from people, families and whānau in their community over the next two years.

They will work together to plan for communities to become food secure by enhancing the mana and food sovereignty of people, families and whānau.

Providing national level support for the sector

Bulk food provision through the New Zealand Food Network

To help ensure that foodbanks have sufficient food, the Ministry is funding the establishment of the New Zealand Food Network: a bulk food storage and distribution network where companies can donate surplus food which is then distributed around the country to meet foodbank’s and food rescue organisation’s needs for food.

Building Sector Capability

The Ministry will also fund two national umbrella organisations to strengthen practices, capacity and capability of a) foodbanks and other community food services through the Kore Hiakai Zero Hunger Collective, and b) food rescue through a national food rescue alliance.

Creating a system to better manage future shocks

The Food Secure Communities funding will provide an additional 21 million meals per annum through foodbanks and other organisations at a cost of 71c per meal. This will result in approximately 6,200 tonnes less food going to landfill, and 2,238 tonnes less CO2 emissions.

This will reduce pressure on New Zealand’s food supply chains and benefit the environment. Foodbanks and other organisations will be better placed to manage future shocks and provide greater food security for vulnerable New Zealanders.

Information for foodbanks, food rescue and other community food services

Making referrals to Work and Income

Foodbanks and other community food services are encouraged to refer clients in the first instance (where eligible and appropriate) to Work and Income for hardship grants for food.

Transitioning support from Civil Defence to MSD

Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) Groups are transitioning emergency welfare functions to key social sector agencies.

The timing for transition will depend on the level of support still needed in your region and will be determined by your CDEM Group, which will be working closely with MSD and other social sector partners.

CDEM Groups will continue to support people with immediate or unmet needs for essential food and household supplies until they can be transitioned to other support.

Food banks and community food organisations will continue to be funded by CDEM Groups/local authorities until the responsibility for funding is transitioned to MSD or other agencies.

Please keep in touch with the welfare team at your local CDEM group to receive the most up-to-date announcements.

Support for foodbanks, food rescue and other community food services

Funding opportunities include:

Access to food stocks:

  • Bulk food stocks through the New Zealand Food Network will be phased in by mid-August. This will supplement stocks available from your local food rescue organisation.

Strengthening the sector through funding of two umbrella organisations:

  • Kore Hiakai Zero Hunger Collective will support foodbanks and other community food organisations, including through strengthening mana-enhancing practices; and will help support communities to develop plans to become food secure. Kore Hiakai is also working at addressing poverty-related hunger’s root causes.
  • A national food rescue alliance is currently being established for the food rescue sector. It aims to increase the capacity of the food rescue sector; share policies and best practices and provide a coherent voice for the sector.

Keep in touch

If you would like to contact us with any queries or subscribe to receive updates from us in the future, we are on:

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