Food to Thrive

Food to Thrive

$2.00. It's not a lot of money but for a gold coin in Wainuiomata you can buy a pie and a can of fizzy drink. In the Lower Hutt suburb, the reality is that some youth don't have access to enough nutritious food. School finishes and they're starving, so they head to a local shop to purchase what $2.00 can buy. Our partner charity, Kaibosh Food Rescue is supporting Tihei Rangatahi to change this.

Faces of Kaibosh

Volunteers are the driving force behind Kaibosh‘s operations here in Wellington. Kaibosh has 80+ volunteers that each mainly work once a fortnight on food sorting and rescue shifts. These regular volunteers work a collective total of 355 hours a month. Every year they collect and distribute around 123,000 kgs of food to 32 charities, this translates to over 28,500 meals a month for those who need it most in Wellington and the Hutt Valley, as well as a monthly reduction of 7,785kg in greenhouse gas emissions.

Volunteers help with a range of jobs – they could be going out with the paid drivers to pick up food from supermarkets, cafes, shops, and the weekend fruit and vege markets, or they could be sorting food back at Kaibosh HQ. Food sorters work in teams of 3-5 either on a midday or evening shift, sorting through food and then distributing it for the organisations to pick up later on as per their daily requirements.

Some recognition of the people that take time out of their day to help Kaibosh do what they do is needed. Matt and Anoushka are in charge of day-to-day things, assisted by the drivers and the wonderful volunteers. We met with a few of the amazing faces behind Kaibosh and asked them what they love most about the charity!

Kaibosh‘s midday food sorting shift is staffed by volunteers from Active, a local group of young people with intellectual disabilities. They‘ve been involved since this shift started over a year ago and are a key part of the Kaibosh team. On the day of our visit, Julie and Michael were assisting the amazing Active volunteers.


Kaibosh are lucky enough to have an incredible amount of volunteers, yet sometimes they need more, learn more at http://www.kaibosh.org.nz/help-us/volunteers. Thanks for the support!

Kaibosh Interview

Kaibosh collects surplus food from food retailers and redistributes it amongst Wellington charities that are working with people who are in need or who are struggling to make ends meet.


You are working towards two awesome goals: Zero Food Poverty and Zero. What got you involved in this great work?

I first had the privilege of being involved with Kaibosh from the recipient charity side of things when I was previously working with the Wellington City Mission.

One of the challenges that The Mission had was to regularly get reasonable volumes of  fresh fruit and vegetables into food parcels due to cost and also issues of storing perishable goods.

With the arrival of Kaibosh several years ago, and then with its subsequent growth,  I saw their work of rescuing and redistributing food start to make a massive tangible benefit to those who otherwise would have gone without. Five years ago in Wellington you would have struggled to find food parcels filled with fruit and vegetables, now you'd struggle to find them without.

When an opportunity came to join the team and help to further and expand the work. I jumped on board.


Tell us about a special moment you have had working with Kaibosh.

One of the most exciting times was when we won the Supreme Award at the National Community Awards earlier this year. There are so many people that put so much effort and energy into making Kaibosh work - volunteers, charities, food donors, funders, trustees and staff - and I felt that this award was a real recognition of all of the collaboration energy that keeps the wheels of Kaibosh turning. It was great that everyone's amazing effort was so positively and publicly recognised.

One of the day-to-day things that gives me a huge amount of personal satisfaction of being a part of the Kaibosh team is when we are able, at very short notice, to assist recipient organisations who themselves may be finding it difficult to supply food to their struggling clients. When requested, we are usually able to respond really quickly now and to make sure that the charities we support have adequate volumes of appropriate food to supply to their clients. That tells me that our system of food rescue is working to keep quality, usable food out of landfill and into hungry stomachs. And all at no cost to the charities or their clients.


One Percent Collective donors have given $3897 since July to Kaibosh to help you reach your goals. Tell us about the great work you and the volunteers have been doing.

Our service is continuing to grow, both in the volumes of food we rescue and in the number of charities we supply to. We have been gearing up, for some time, for an expansion into the Hutt Valley and this is finally starting to happen. We are currently supplying a number of Hutt Charities from our base in Wellington City but have big plans to markedly increase the service up there... watch this space!

Kaibosh has been working with a number of other agencies around New Zealand, and assisting them with their goals to establish working food rescue services. In the past 12 months we have been involved with groups in Hamilton, Wanganui, Tauranga, the Wairarapa and Dunedin. It is great to see the level of interest and enthusiasm for food rescue services in these other areas and we are sharing our knowledge and experiences wherever possible.

Kaibosh is currently rescuing and redistributing around 10,000 kg  of food each month with 108,862 kg rescued over the past twelve months. This is quality food which otherwise would have unnecessarily ended up in landfill.


How can people get involved with Kaibosh?

Kaibosh relies hugely on the assistance of volunteers to keep our operation running. We currently have around 85 people who regularly help out, in  a variety of different roles.

If you are keen to get on board and share a couple of hours a fortnight to help us out, please drop us a line at volunteer@kaibosh.org.nz. We look forward to hearing from you!

Donate your 1% to Kaibosh here.