Growing Pains and Big Gains!

March 25, 2022

COVID changed the food rescue game. It changed the amount of surplus good food and where it came from. It changed who needed that food and how it gets to them. Now, Kaibosh’s growth spurt in Kāpiti-Horowhenua means their team is rescuing and distributing more quality surplus food than ever before. But there were a few false starts...

In 2019, Kaibosh was approached by the community of Kāpiti-Horowhenua and asked to help rescue food in their area for redistribution to people in need because good kai was needlessly going to waste at supermarkets in their rohe, while people were going hungry.

We listened to their kōrero, carefully consulted with the community and planned together how our team at Kaibosh might be able to assist.

A great little base was found, awesome staff were hired, a new truck was purchased and a wonderful opening celebration was held. But then the COVID pandemic happened and the March 2020 lockdown was declared the following week!

Six days after opening, our plans for getting operations underway were put on hold because all of Kaibosh's food rescue operations were temporarily centralised at our Wellington base. Ben, our new Kāpiti-Horowhenua Operations Manager, made the journey to Pōneke each day to pick up food and deliver it back up to our new Kāpiti charity partners.

Once our region was at Level Two, we were finally able to get our new Kāpiti-Horowhenua base up and running! Our new Kāpiti-Horowhenua team got busy rescuing food from local supermarkets and growers and connecting it to the charities feeding hungry people. But then, just one year on, our newest site had already outgrown its home!

The impacts of the pandemic created a huge demand within our communities, but we were also offered significant volumes of food to assist those most in need. To meet the demand that was being put on our service, we needed more space.

Thanks to generous supporters, including One Percent Collective donors like you, a move to a much larger warehouse was made possible. Now we have shelves that can take pallets, lifting equipment, bigger chillers, and space for more staff and volunteers.

Kaibosh's Kāpiti and Horowhenua Food Distribution Centre.

In the past year, our Kāpiti-Horowhenua team have rescued and redistributed over 71,000kg of quality surplus food – that’s over 55,000kg of carbon emissions saved and 203,960 meals! We currently supply food to 26 charities from this extended site in Kāpiti, distributing food all the way up to Levin.

Now, a lot less quality surplus food is going to waste and there is less pressure on families – although the work continues, with an increasing need in the community as we move through these difficult times.

Thanks to all our One Percent Collective donors for your generous support and for the part you’ve played in helping us grow! After all this COVID craziness settles down, we'd love to welcome you up to the Kāpiti base to show you what you have helped us to achieve.

Words by Kaibosh. Image credit: Jenn Hadley/folkYEAH!

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