Good Neighbour collects food from twelve supermarkets that is good enough to eat, but not good enough to sell, and redistributes it to over 55 local charities and organisations. They have two chiller trucks and a team of 130 volunteers that collect, sort and repackage the food to tailor it to the specific needs of each charity.
Good Neighbour’s Food Rescue is specifically designed to respond to the challenge of sustainability by minimising food waste, and inspiring and engaging with a wide range of individuals, companies and charities. It provides a much-needed food resource to be used for good in our community. Currently they are processing about two tons a day and are projecting over 450 tons of food will be re-purposed this year, diverting food from waste and landfill. This has huge sustainability benefits for suppliers, local authority, as well as the immediate benefit for receiving families, charities and organisations.
Good Neighbour uses the media to engage the next generation with Food Rescue’s objectives. The ability to help other charitable organisations achieve their goals by helping keep food costs down enables improved service levels for their recipients, enriching our community as a whole.
The Neighbourhood Projects arm of the Charity organises a wide range of projects for people in need. This includes back yard clean-ups, removal of household rubbish, lawn mowing services, small house moves, fruit picking, and delivering firewood. They have delivered over 281 cubic meters of firewood to families in need, creating warmer dryer homes to help families stay healthy over winter, and work with the local fire brigade who install free smoke alarms into every house, so everyone can have a safe night’s sleep. These deliveries help keep the cost of power down.
To achieve all of this they work closely with local businesses whose staff volunteer, so that together along with community volunteers they build strong relationships and better serve our community. Over 90 community projects were completed in 2017.
Good Neighbour currently have two community gardens with 70 beds in total. The aim of the gardens is to create a hub in the community and for gardeners to learn sustainable practices to grow their own fresh produce. They have regular workshops on different topics and have a propagating tunnel so that their gardeners can grow their own seedlings. Community gardens are recognised worldwide as a great way to grow food, improve health, meet people and cultivate vibrant communities. The gardens have been developed largely by sponsorship and the individual plots are then rented out to the community. Good Neighbour have supported many local services and schools to develop their own community gardens and new ones are popping up all the time.
Exciting things just keep happening with Good Neighbour, with the go-ahead given to develop a commercial kitchen on their premises. Good Neighbour Kitchen (GNK) could be underway this year after plans are approved and funding raised. The Board has approved plans for stage one, which will reduce food waste even further. This is done by using food unable to be given out to create products to give or sell. Their goal is to build a strong volunteer team to mentor and educate the community and teach charities how to prepare food for themselves. They plan on offering a catering service to provide a sustainable arm to the work Food Rescue does and at the same time provide education, build self esteem and work with the community to break the cycle of poverty and waste.
If you would like to get involved by donating products, services or finances to this exciting new project you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org. They would love to partner with local businesses for the Good Neighbour Kitchen.
Staples Rodway Tauranga has been a proud supporter of Good Neighbour from the beginning and helping with the great work they do in and for the community is something we are delighted to be part of.