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Covid-19 leaves Kiwi families more vulnerable than ever when it comes to food insecurity

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

With the ongoing Covid-19 lockdown impacting whānau across Aotearoa, more and more families are relying on food parcels to put a meal on the table.

According to the New Zealand Food Network (NZFN), the issue is not only limited to areas struggling through repeated lockdowns. It’s also prominent in hard-to-reach rural communities where food options are limited and often far from home.

It is estimated that a staggering half a million Kiwis are living without reliable, daily access to affordable and nutritious food, although the true figure could be as high as one million-.

That’s why this World Food Day (October 16) Kellogg New Zealand is proud to support the NZFN, which helps local communities in need by providing quality surplus and donated bulk food from producers, growers, and wholesalers around the country.

"Higher rents and utility bills, a reduction in work hours and even job losses caused by the latest lockdown, have all put Kiwi families in situations where they are struggling to put adequate, nutritious food on the table," said Gavin Findlay, CEO of the NZFN. "The issue is particularly acute in rural communities where steady work is often scarce and food options limited. Since the most recent lockdown, the number of food rescue organisations we support has jumped from 52 to more than 90 different organisations, Iwi, and charities across the country and all of them are needing more support." Kellogg has been working with the NZFN since it launched in July 2020 and is a regular donor of well-known food such as Special K, Sultana Bran, and Rice Bubbles. In fact, since the launch of the NZFN, Kellogg has donated more than 116,000 kilograms of food, worth more than $1.6million to the NZFN. The donations are part of a wider Better Days initiative that since 2013, has seen Kellogg donate more than 4.7million serves of food across New Zealand to ensure nobody wakes up to an empty bowl.

"So far we have donated 2 million servings of food to people in need across New Zealand with this great non-profit organisation. From Northland right through to Southland, the New Zealand Food Network does a terrific job getting foods to communities who need it the most," says Tamara Howe, Kellogg’s General Manager New Zealand and Director of Corporate Affairs, ANZ.

Research shows that COVID-19 has increased the financial stress for New Zealand households with lower socio-economic status (SES) households most at risk--. That’s part of the reason why Kellogg has an ongoing commitment to tackle hunger and combat food insecurity through ongoing donations to several organisations including Eat My Lunch, NZFN, and the City Missions.

The New Zealand Food Network is a not-for-profit organisation that works by offering a single point of contact for producers, growers, and wholesalers to send bulk food, whether donated, short-dated, surplus, incorrect or faulty labelling, or a cancelled order, into its network, so it can be redistributed widely and safely to reach communities in need across the country.

"Kellogg is a truly valued donor who share the common mission of combatting food insecurity in Aotearoa. Unfortunately, in New Zealand, the food shortage issue is worsening given the ongoing impacts of the pandemic, so their support is more important than ever as we all work together to combat hunger" says Findlay.

To find out more about the work NZFN is doing to tackle hunger and food insecurity visit: https://www.nzfoodnetwork.org.nz/

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