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NZFN Successfully Fills Eden Park With 100,000 Meals To Feed Kiwis In Need

Kellanova, Zespri and Woolworths donate 87,000 meals to NZFN

21 May 2024 – Kellanova (formerly Kellogg’s), Zespri, and Woolworths have stepped up to donate a total of 87,000 meals to the New Zealand Food Network (NZFN).

NZFN Pitch In ambassadors_ Sam Slade, Piri Weepu, Leigh Hart. NZFN/Supplied

Thanks to generous donations from the public and corporate partners, NZFN has reached its initial target of filling (virtually) Eden Park’s field with 100,000 meals for Kiwis in need.

But demand for food support continues to grow as Kiwi families turn to Food Hubs amid the cost of living crisis. Recent findings from NZFN’s bi-annual Food Security Snapshot revealed a 42% increase in demand for food support in 2023 compared to 2022 and an 83% increase since 2021.

The cost of living crisis is impacting more people than ever with a third (33%) of NZFN’s partner Food Hubs’ monthly recipients never previously needing food assistance.

NZFN Chief Executive Gavin Findlay says, "The findings give a sobering insight into the reality many Kiwis are facing and is the core reason behind launching the Pitch In campaign.

“We’re distributing significantly more food than last year, and our partner Food Hubs are helping more people, but it’s incredibly difficult to keep up with demand.

“We’re very grateful to those who’ve donated, particularly our corporate partners that can make a real difference. Between them, Kellanova, Zespri and Woolworths have donated the equivalent of 87,000 meals, helping us fill the field.

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“But we can’t stop there, we’ve already started filling the field a second time and hope to hit at least 200,000 meals before the campaign closes in October.”

Kellanova donated 83 pallets of food to NZFN, the equivalent of 47,000 meals. Janine Baldwin, General Manager at Kellanova NZ says “We’re proud to partner with NZFN and support the Pitch In campaign. Giving back to our communities is part of our DNA. Our feeding programs are crucial to our Better Days promise to advance sustainable and equitable access to nutritious food for Kiwi families.”

Zespri made a financial donation equivalent to 20,000 meals. Zespri Head of Global Public Affairs Michael Fox says, “Zespri is committed to supporting our communities and is delighted to contribute to initiatives like NZFN’s Pitch In to ensure high quality, healthy food is getting to those who need it.”

Woolworths donated from their food rescue fund, which will allow NZFN to purchase food to feed 20,000 Kiwis. Woolworths NZ Managing Director, Spencer Sonn adds, “It’s really important for us to support Kiwis facing food insecurity.NZFN have the nationwide network to reach families across the country through their 60+ partner Food Hubs. We know 100% of our donation will go directly to feeding people in need and encourage other businesses to jump on board and donate.”

The public appeal for donations is ongoing, with NZFN urging those with the means to pitch in to fill (virtually) Eden Park’s field for a second time by World Food Day 2024.

To make a bulk food or financial donation, visit pitchin.org.nz to learn more, and see how the New Zealand Food Network gets food to where it's needed most.

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