In a spectacular demonstration of support, KiwiHarvest’s inaugural Goodness Gala has raised more than $75,000 to directly fund KiwiHarvest’s food rescue missions.

The funds will help deliver the equivalent of 150,000 meals back to charities and community groups who pass it on to Kiwis in hardship.

KiwiHarvest CEO Deborah Manning says more so than the funds raised, she is delighted with the offers of support that poured in from 350-strong guest list.

“The KiwiHarvest Goodness Gala was a chance for us to highlight the work we do rescuing over 1.7 million kilograms of surplus good food to redistribute back to our most vulnerable communities. The evening was also to thank our stakeholders, for without them, we would not be able to deliver this goodness back to our communities.

“KiwiHarvest facilitates the connection between business and the communities, it was a celebration of what real collaboration can achieve. We are truly humbled by the generosity of all those who helped make the evening so successful. The SkyCity chefs, led by Chef Fiona Ruane did a magnificent job creating a mindful menu to remind us all that food is for sharing and connecting us. We can promise you, nothing was wasted!

“We are so grateful for the ongoing commitment from our growing family of supporters to help us scale our food rescue operations. The funding allows KiwiHarvest to significantly reduce commercial food waste volumes and to fight food insecurity in New Zealand.

“We are excited to expand our operations and keep delivering on our long-term plans, we have so much more to do, there are tonnes of good food being wasted every day and we need to be able to rescue this. Every kiwi should have access to fresh food. This is New Zealand, Kiwis are generous and the response from the Goodness Gala demonstrates that commitment from business.”

Guests included food companies such as MyFoodBag and other retailers, wholesalers, and growers, and chefs. Other guests included the New Zealand Rugby Players Association, James Walter Thompson and NZME.

The black tie event took place on 8 June at Auckland’s SkyCity Convention Centre. It was MC’ed by Scotty Stevenson with special guests former all Black captain David Kirk, Kieran Read, Lisa Carrington, and Kelli Brett. Guests enjoyed entertainment by the Sweet Mix Kids freshly back from Coachella.

Since 2012, KiwiHarvest has rescued the equivalent of 4.8 million meals with a total value of $17 million. It has saved the environment 6,800 tonnes of carbon emissions, 180 million litres of water and enough energy to power 447 homes for one year.

KiwiHarvest has a fleet of seven refrigerated vehicles and plans to expand. It services 215 recipient charities with a waiting list for food donors and more than 18 recipient agencies in need of food.

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