NZKGI Foodbank Drive

New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers (NZKGI), the industry body which advocates for 2,800 growers, is encouraging its members to pitch in and donate to New Zealand's most vulnerable.

Growers can support The Foodbank Project, a joint partnership between retailer Countdown, charity The Salvation Army and e-commerce platform Lucid.

NZKGI said the drive recognizes that Covid-19 continues to have an economic impact upon New Zealand with kiwis struggling financially.

Despite restrictions brought about by Covid-19, the kiwifruit industry has had a successful year returning almost NZ$2bn in direct payments to communities around New Zealand. The industry has also welcomed people who have been displaced from their previous employment.

NZKGI chief executive Nikki Johnson said it’s great to see this drive as a continuation of the 2020 grower initiative launched in the Bay of Plenty to help support the unprecedented demand due to the ongoing impacts of Covid-19.

“Growers answered the call and donated thousands of dollars’ worth of food and necessities. As a result of the drive’s success, NZKGI committed to rolling out the appeal in other kiwifruit growing regions,” explained Johnson.

Jono Bell, Salvation Army territorial director of community ministries added: “The pressure on our clients and their whānau to make ends meet is enormous, and Covid-19 has added more uncertainty.”

Instead of utilizing drop off points for growers to deliver food, The Foodbank Project allows a more accessible way for busy donors to help Kiwis in need by donating online and choosing from a range of products and bundles that are critically needed for food parcels.

The order is then packed and delivered by local Countdown stores to The Salvation Army foodbanks of the donor’s choice.