A mature feijoa plant can produce up to 30 kilos of fruit. That’s a lot of cordial and crumble. When you’ve had your fill, Fair Food urges you to donate your surplus to a local food rescue organisation to help feed people, not landfill. We aim to share the fresh ingredients for 5,000 meals each day, with a focus on the flood-impacted areas of West Auckland.

“With the cost of groceries at an all time high, and availability hitting a low, now is the perfect time to share your surplus homegrown fruits and veggies with friends and neighbours. There’s no such thing as too many courgettes or feijoas for us. We provide the fresh ingredients for a day’s worth of meals for 1600 people every single day, so we will find a family for whatever you’ve got in your garden,” encourages Fair Food General Manager Michelle Blau.

“We’re partnering with a local rest home to learn recipes for chutneys, jams, and soups, so we’re gaining the wisdom of our kaumatua while we feed our home community. Volunteers are always welcome in our zero waste Conscious Kitchen at our Hub in Avondale,” says Michelle. 

The gap in access to fresh food has increased considerably since the extreme weather this summer, and many home gardens were damaged. “Most areas of West Auckland lost electricity for days and had to bin everything in the fridge and freezer. A lot of people cannot afford to replace a week’s worth of food right now, so community groups stepped in to help. There are also hundreds of families who’ve moved in with relatives while they sort out their home, and that’s putting real pressure on the already strained supermarket bill.” 

“Food money is the most flexible expense in a tight budget. Families may use part of their food budget to replace an essential item, damaged by the flood, while they wait for an insurance reimbursement. It leaves many people in a vulnerable spot, especially with prices what they are at the moment. If you’ve got fresh food to spare, now is a great time to share it,” says Michelle.



Fair Food is Auckland’s original food rescue charity, on a mission to feed people not landfill since 2011. We share around 35,000 meals worth of fresh food every week through a network of 50 local organisations. Supermarkets, manufacturers, and growers donate more than 1 tonne a day of surplus kai. Last year, Fair Food rescued 621 tonnes of food, which is the GHG emissions equivalent of driving 6.5 million kilometres and is like a week’s worth of food for up to 81,350 people. Across Aotearoa last year, food rescue organisations saved 11,500 tonnes of food

On Saturday at 10am, someone was called to help in West Auckland and by 11am, Give a Kid a Blanket co-founder Bernie Harfleet and his partner have provided for another family in need.

“[It’s] pretty typical really. We get a phone call or email from police in the morning. She’s gone to an incident, she’s found a family that needs some support,” Harfleet said.

That support comes in many forms, whether it’s food, blankets, sanitary items, clothes, toys and nappies – it’s all available on request.

“They’ve been lifesavers. For families that don’t have anything to have a wee gift of food or pyjamas or blankets and there’s always something extra that goes in – it’s just fantastic,” crisis counsellor Teresa Thomson said.

“The need has been higher than ever before. More and more charities are calling us for more and more kai,” Fair Food General Manager Michelle Blau told Newshub.

Two hundred people volunteer at Fair Food each month, and in December alone it’s handed out more than 100,000 meals.

“It’s a need that never seems to have an end, but also we’re happy that we’re here to try to meet it,” Blau said.

Helping make a difference not only at Christmas but every day of the year.

This story originally appeared on the TV 3 evening news on Christmas Eve with a feature of one of our recipient charities – Give a Kid a Blanket. Watch it here.

It’s been a bumper year for citrus, and Fair Food is happy to receive it to feed families across West Auckland. Allan Pollard, CEO of The Trusts, a local social enterprise which has provided financial support for Fair Food, says, “We want to encourage those who have surplus fruit growing on their trees to pick and donate this to a local food charity – rather than let it go to waste rotting on the ground.”

Thanks to the encouragement of the Trusts, we’ve been getting some beautiful donations of lemons, limes, oranges, mandarins, and grapefruit. And, Jesse Mulligan even gave us a call to chat about it on his RNZ afternoon radio show.

The poverty gap is widening, and pandemic-driven food shortages, inflation and winter heating costs are all impacting already vulnerable families. Around 40% of Kiwi households experience food insecurity, and 19% of our tamariki live in homes where consistency of food supply is a concern.

“I know one woman recently had to stop her children’s sporting activities over the weekend because it became a choice between paying for the petrol to get them there, or buying groceries. I have heard of others having to go without heat. No one should have to be in this position,” says CFO Deb McLaughlin.

When Countdown Henderson was accidentally set on fire, Fair Food jumped into action to rescue as much food as possible, saving a whole supermarket from being biffed.

Countdown is one of Fair Food’s major food donors, donating surplus food from 15 stores across Auckland. So, when Countdown Henderson in the West City mall fell victim to arson, we jumped into action to help out whichever way we could.

Once the fire and the store were safe, Countdown’s quality assurance team assessed the food to ensure there was no compromise to the safety of the food. And only once this was confirmed, we were able to recover everything that was still safe-to-eat from the store including the bulk storage in the back chillers. Fair Food rescued 30 pallets of frozen and chilled food – including fresh meat, frozen seafood, pizza, fresh pasta, soups, pasta sauces and dips and a further 19 pallets of dairy products including milk, cream, cheese and yoghurt have been saved, along with a total of 16,500 eggs. This was Fair Food’s single biggest rescue!

Thanks to the perseverance of both the Countdown Henderson and Countdown Head Office teams, Fair Food were able to rescue tonnes of surplus food that would have literally been dumped by the insurance company handling the arson claim.

With access to blast freezers and being able to store goods in our purpose-built Hub, we have been able to complement our fresh food with a lot of the fire rescue products such as shelf-stable products and different varieties of protein.

Fair Food works with more than 50 recipients across Auckland, including those for victims of family violence, refugees, mental health agencies, teen parenting support groups, homeless people and groups doing community cook-ups so this food has been gratefully received, especially during high food demand such as the COVID lockdowns of 2021.