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 food rescue charities and foodbanks throughout New Zealand.

This is part of our goal towards zero food waste and it also directly helps those New Zealanders who might otherwise go hungry. Each year this equates to around $5.2 million of food to foodbanks, plus an additional $1.7 million of food to farmers as food scraps for their animals.

Customers can donate too through specially marked food donation bins in-store.  Or donate online through The Foodbank Project, New Zealand’s first online foodbank and a collaboration between Countdown and The Salvation Army.

Our partners include The Salvation Army, FairFood, Just Zilch, Kaibosh, KiwiHarvest, Kaivolution, Good 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 $1million worth of goods to people in need through The Foodbank Project.

Green Ribbon Awards

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.


Countdown Food Rescue Partners Contestable Fund 2019

Countdown’s Contestable Fund is designed to help grow the capacity and/ or capability of our existing food rescue partners to collect safe, quality surplus food from Countdown supermarkets around the country.


Over the past three years we have awarded more than $435,000 to our food rescue charity partners, funding a range of initiatives such as a walk-in chiller for KiwiHarvest in Auckland, upgrading a network of fridges and freezers for The Salvation Army’s foodbanks, and buying vehicles for food collections for Love Soup in the Hibiscus Coast and Satisfy Food Rescue in Kaiapoi.

In 2019, the amount available in the Fund is up to $150,000.

  • To be eligible for the fund, applicants must be a registered charity which is based in New Zealand, have a signed Food Rescue agreement in place with Countdown before 1 December 2018, and be currently rescuing surplus food from at least one Countdown supermarket.
  • Applications open on Monday 3rd December 2018 and close at 5pm on Wednesday 20 February 2018.
  • Funds for successful applicants will be announced no later than Wednesday, 20 March 2019.

Information and Criteria

Application Form