Countdown Food Rescue

Countdown Food Rescue

Wherever possible, Countdown’s policy is to donate safe, high-quality surplus food to The Salvation Army and other local foodbanks throughout New Zealand.

Since 2011, Countdown stores have partnered with foodbanks and food rescue organisations to donate food that would otherwise go to landfill. This is part of our goal towards zero food waste in our supermarkets, and it also directly helps those New Zealanders who might otherwise go hungry.

Each year this equates to around $3.7 million of food to foodbanks, plus an additional $2.1 million of food to farmers as food scraps for their animals.

Customers can donate too through specially marked food donation bins in-store which are collected by The Salvation Army and other local foodbanks. Or donate online through The Foodbank Project.

It’s a simple way for everyone to help make sure Kiwis don’t go hungry.

Our partners include The Salvation ArmyFairFoodJust ZilchFoodShareKaiboshKiwiHarvestKaivolutionGood Neighbour, Kiwi Community Assistance, and City Harvest.

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 which 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. 

So far New Zealanders have donated more than $500,000 worth of goods to people in need through The Foodbank Project.

2016 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.

Together with customer donations, 674 trolleys worth of food were donated 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 2018

For the second year, Countdown has established a Contestable Fund, which aims to help help grow the capacity and/ or ability of our food rescue partners to rescue food from our supermarkets.  

In 2017 we were proud to provide funding to seven of our partners, used for things like a chiller container for KiwiHarvest in Auckland, Love Soup Hibiscus Coast’s first collection vehicle, and support for Kaibosh’s All Taste No Waste fundraising event.

In 2018, the amount available in the Fund is up to $120,000.

  • 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 2017 to rescue surplus food from one or more of our supermarkets.
  • Applications open on 1 December 2017 and close at 5pm on 23 February 2017.
  • Funds for successful applicants will be announced no later than 15 March 2018.

Eligibility and Information

Application Form

We're proud to say we won the Business Leadership category at last year's (2017) Green Ribbon Awards for our work in reducing food waste.