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Food Secure Communities

Latest advice for foodbanks, food rescue and other community food services following the announcement on 11 August 2020 that New Zealand has a re-emergence of community transmission of COVID-19.

If you need a foodbank or other food assistance in your area, search on the Family services directory website.

If you are an MSD-funded foodbank or community food service please make sure your food service is listed on the Family services directory and up to date, so that people can access your services.

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

The Ministry is funding three national partner organisations to build sector capacity and capability for the sector, and to increase the supply of high-quality surplus food available to foodbanks and community food services.

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.

Support for foodbanks, food rescue and other community food services

Funding opportunities include:

* Community Food Transition Grants: transitional funding to support increased demand for emergency food during the transition between Civil Defence Emergency Management Groups standing down and MSD implementing the two-year Community Food Response Funding. This has now closed, and 135 providers have received funding.

* Community Food Response Funding: funding to contribute towards your costs for up to two years, while participating in building a Food Secure Community. This has now closed, with 131 providers successful in their applications.

* Food Secure Communities Grants: funding to develop and implement a plan for a Food Secure Community. This has now closed with 49 providers successful in their applications.

Support from national partner organisations

1. New Zealand Food Network is a new organisation that collects quality surplus and donated bulk food from producers, growers and wholesalers around the country, and distributes it to food hubs (ie. food rescue organisations, iwi and charities) across New Zealand, so that they may feed the communities they serve.

2. Kore Hiakai Zero Hunger Collective support community food organisations across Aotearoa New Zealand to enable food to be distributed in mana enhancing ways and to strive for community led food secure communities, AND are committed to the slower, deeper work of addressing poverty-related hunger’s root causes – and all the systems that contribute to it.

3. The Aotearoa Food Rescue Alliance is currently being established to support food rescue organisations through capacity building, encouraging best practice, enhancing collaboration and advocating for the interests of the food rescue sector in Aotearoa, New Zealand.

Support through Work and Income

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

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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