Countdown Food Rescue

Wherever possible, Countdown’s policy is to donate food that is still fit for consumption to our food rescue charity partners throughout New Zealand.

Since 2011, Countdown stores have partnered with foodbanks to donate surplus food that would otherwise go to landfill.

Each year this equates to around $3.5 million of food donated to foodbanks and community groups, plus an additional $1.2 million of food to farmers for their animals.

This not only helps reduce waste but helps feed families and individuals in need.

Our partners include The Salvation ArmyFairFood0800 HungryJust ZilchFoodShareKaiboshKiwiHarvestKaivolutionGood Neighbour, and Kiwi Community Assistance.

The Foodbank Project

In 2015 Countdown, The Salvation Army and Nelson-based web developers Lucid, launched New Zealand’s first online food donation initiative, The Foodbank Project enables donors to choose items that are most-needed by The Salvation Army’s foodbanks.  Countdown delivers donated items to the nearest participating Salvation Army foodbank through our online shopping network, for free. We also donate profits made on the items donated to The Salvation Army.

Christmas Food Appeal

Demand for food parcels peaks during the Christmas period and stocks can run low. To help address this, last year every Countdown store donated $500 worth of groceries to their local Salvation Army centre, resulting in more than $90,000 of groceries for Christmas food parcels.  Additionally, Countdown customers donated another 750 trolleys worth of food to The Salvation Army at Christmas, helping meet the needs of 17,000 families and individuals who call on The Salvation Army for food assistance at this time of year.

Countdown Food Rescue Partners Contestable Fund

As part of the Countdown Food Rescue programme, in 2016 we have set up a Contestable Fund, which aims to help support capex or projects which have a direct impact on growing and building the capacity of Countdown’s food rescue partners.

One of the biggest challenges for these groups is that they don’t have the ability to expand their services to take more of our food or collect from our stores more often because they need another truck or more fridge space etc.

  • The total amount available in the Fund is up to $100,000 for the 2017 calendar year.  Applications open on 1 December 2016 and close on 15 February 2017.  Funds for successful applicants will be made available from 1 March 2017.
  • To be eligible for the fund, applicants must be from a registered charity and have a signed agreement in place with Countdown before 1 December 2016 to rescue surplus food from one or more of our supermarkets.

Eligibility and Information

Application Form