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Satisfy Food Rescue ensures nothing goes to waste in a bid to support those in need

The Rātā Foundation is the South Islands largest community funder and as a huge supporter of Satisfy we were stoked to be included in their faces of funding video series! Check it out!

In Kaiapoi, North Canterbury, a team of nine dedicated staff and around 50 volunteers at Satisfy Food Rescue are ensuring nothing goes to waste - working hard to support their local community with the essentials and, at the same time, looking to reduce the district’s impact on the environment.

“There are people in our community who are facing significant hardship, and demand for our services went up by about 50 percent before Christmas,” says Phillipa Hunt, Founder and Chair of Satisfy Food Rescue.

Founded in 2014, Satisfy Food Rescue supports the North Canterbury community by redirecting excess food supplies donated by local businesses to those in need. The charitable trust has joined forces with businesses to identify and collect food ‘waste,’ which is sorted, packaged, and redistributed to around 45 recipient organisations, including charities like food banks and community meal providers, as well as schools.

“We’re a collaborative organisation in essence,” says Phillipa. “We’re basically sorting food to give it to organisations who are already doing that awesome work at the coalface, so we are there to provide them the support they need.”

Phillipa says one of the organisations they support in Kaiapoi is currently giving out three times the number of food parcels compared to the same time in 2021, and this is a challenge facing most recipient organisations.

Mike Stanley, General Manager of Delta Community Support Trust, says the number of middle-income earners and families needing support has increased.

“Prior to COVID, we had about 1500 food parcels a year that we were distributing, and now we’re (at) about 3900 a year.”

The efforts of Satisfy Food Rescue’s network are also making a difference in the environment.

Ministry for Primary Industries data indicates that in 2020, more than 300,000 tonnes of food from household and commercial businesses in New Zealand went to landfill. Meanwhile, the Ministry for the Environment says around one-third of all food produced worldwide is never eaten, the equivalent of 1.3 billion tonnes.

For their part, Satisfy Food Rescue has prevented 1,173,378 kilograms of food from reaching landfill. In the last financial year, the organisation reduced the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere by 1,313 tonnes and saved 953 million litres of water from being used unnecessarily.

As the South Island’s largest community funder, Rātā Foundation is supporting Satisfy Food Rescue with a contribution towards operating costs to ensure Phillipa and her network of staff, local businesses, and volunteers can keep their doors open to those needing support and continue to lead the way with their environmental efforts. 

“Satisfy Food Rescue has a dual emphasis on improving food security to those experiencing economic hardship and rural isolation in North Canterbury, as well as minimising food waste and environmental impact,” says Rātā Chief Executive Leighton Evans.

“Their work ensures people in need continue to get the right support when they need it, and it’s no secret the level of need in our community is on the rise. The impact Satisfy Food Rescue has achieved, both socially and environmentally, speaks for itself.”

As the organisation enters its tenth year supporting the people of North Canterbury, and with more demand than ever for their services, what is next for Satisfy Food Rescue?

“Satisfy has got some really exciting goals on the horizon,” says Phillipa. “One of them is moving into Christchurch a little bit to respond to some upcoming need that’s opened up there.”

Phillipa adds that they also have plans to move into a purpose-built facility in the future, becoming part of a community hub in Kaiapoi’s regeneration zone, allowing them to expand their services and work more effectively.

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