A national food charity is aiming to provide food security for Kiwis living in rural communities through a number of new initiatives.
The programmes will bring food bank services to regions around the country with higher deprivation as well working to educate people about the impact of food waste in a bid to inspire them to make small changes to their daily habits.
The initiatives will be launched by national food rescue charity KiwiHarvest.
The charity's general manager Blandina Diamond says in the wake of COVID-19 almost two million New Zealanders are experiencing low to moderate food security issues.
Through Project A-Rohe, Diamond says KiwiHarvest will expand its distribution to include areas out of reach of a suitable food hub.
Over the past nine years, the food charity has delivered 14.6 million meals to Kiwi families. Now, through the new expansion project, it is aiming to deliver an additional 450 tonnes of food to some more remote parts of the country.
Regions benefiting from the project include Bay of Plenty, Taupo and the Central Plateau, as well as the Waikato, Northland (Te Tai Tokerau) and parts of Southland.
Along with the expansion project, the charity is planning on travelling across the country to deliver talks and information packs about food waste and food security through Programme Whakaako.
The charity will visit 20 key public events such as expos, food shows, conferences and agricultural and climate change events over the moving year to help raise awareness about the issues. It will also provide free rescue food to thousands of people from a new promotional educational trailer that allows staff to engage with the public by visiting businesses and schools.
Diamond said meal-kit provider HelloFresh had donated $70,000 to fund the projects, with the company also giving $30,000 to KiwiHarvest's sister organisation NZ Food Network to support its 2021 operations.