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.