The New Zealand government will fund new projects designed to connect communities with healthy, affordable food and those who produce it in the wake of Covid-19.
Damien O’Connor, agriculture minister of New Zealand, said five projects will help ensure food gets on the tables of hungry New Zealanders and redirect food that would otherwise be wasted, to those in need.
Funding was set aside in the 2020 budget and some has already been used to scale up school and community programmes by providing 100,000 fruit and vegetable boxes to children.
“Covid-19 has seen an increasing number of families facing unprecedented financial pressure. Foodbanks and community food service providers are reporting two or three times their usual demand,” O’Connor said.
“The global pandemic has disrupted food supply chains and food retailers, making it difficult for some New Zealander’s to access to affordable and healthy food and risking significant food waste.
“These initiatives have been addressing a short-term, critical need. While they’ve been ticking along we’ve been looking for longer-term solutions to help address food insecurity and food waste.”
The projects will receive up to NZ$100,000 for a ten-week development and trial period.
They include a feasibility study to determine the viability of bringing Yume Food, which provides an online marketplace for food producers to list surplus product, to New Zealand.
Agrichain, a proposal explores a produce box-based supply channel, capable of providing a selection of produce to vulnerable households impacted by Covid-19.
Totally Local, an online marketplace that allows consumers to support local growers, it uses a unique algorithm to connect consumers to local producers and a delivery service.