Countdown Food for Good Foundation

It’s a privilege to be in the business of food in Aotearoa New Zealand.

We’re a proud part of 183 communities, an employer of 20,000 hard-working Kiwis, and an organisation that works closely with local farmers, growers, and businesses big and small to feed three million Kiwis who shop with us every week.

But being a good business goes beyond that. It’s about looking after our most vulnerable New Zealanders, and protecting our precious environment for the long-term.

It’s about all New Zealanders having the opportunity to thrive. It’s about using Food for Good.

Our Mission:

To provide meaningful and long-lasting support to our communities, giving all Kiwis the opportunity to thrive, and helping to build a stronger, healthier New Zealand for future generations.

Our Values:

We use Food For Good: we use our resources, size and skills to support New Zealanders, our communities and our environment.

We collaborate: we work alongside our communities, suppliers, partners and customers to understand and help meet the needs of Kiwis to enable us all to thrive.

We believe in the greater good: we recognise that as a large business and employer, we have an important role to play in helping to contribute to a better and healthier Aotearoa.

We are future-focussed: we make decisions today that will deliver a better tomorrow.

Making our investment count

Last year we donated more than $7 million in food, funding and local sponsorship for our communities. By creating the Countdown Food For Good Foundation we can make an even bigger difference around a single focus: helping Kiwis to thrive by building a stronger, healthier New Zealand for the future.

Some of the things we did last year included:

$4m in food rescue food donations (cost value)
$1.1m in store community fundraising
$1m of Free Fruit for Kids
$650,000 in local store & company donations 
$200,000 in Food Rescue funding

$185,000 in events & product fundraising
$125,000 in The Foodbank Project rebates for The Salvation Army
$26,000 in Growing for Good Grants

Foundation Governance:

The Countdown Food for Good Foundation, which includes the Countdown Food for Good Trust, is overseen by three representatives from across the Woolworths New Zealand business.

Our Priorities:

$1 million to help respond to the immediate impact of COVID-19

Through the foundation, we are donating $1 million in immediate relief to our food rescue and food welfare charity partners around Aotearoa to help them meet increased demand for food in the wake of the Covid-19 global pandemic.

We’ve been in regular contact with our main charity partners since March 2020 - first, to provide the immediate food support they urgently needed, but also to understand how we can best help in the coming months and year. Overwhelmingly they told us that the need they are seeing is not going to go away, and longer-term financial support is vital so they can ramp up their ability to help - whether that’s more food, more people, more vans on the road, or more fridges and freezers.

Increasing our support of food rescue charities to $500,000 in the July 2020-June 2021 financial year

We work with more than 20 food rescue partners throughout New Zealand who collect and then donate any food that can’t be sold, but can still be eaten, to Kiwis in need.

Over the last five years, Countdown has provided $742,749 of funding to help support these organisations as part of our goal towards zero food waste to landfill.

In our 2020/2021 financial year, we’ve increased this to $500,000 to help them further ramp up their operations - whether that’s for more food, more people, more vans on the road or more fridges and freezers.

For more information on our Food Rescue programme, click here

The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army is Countdown’s largest charity partner and we partner with them through food rescue, The Foodbank Project and other initiatives like The Good Shop around the country.

Last year we donated more than $2m of food to The Salvation Army’s community ministries, to help provide food parcels to help vulnerable Kiwis.

Countdown also supports The Salvation Army with public appeals to help raise money and food donations. These donations help provide food parcels and other wrap-around support services to those in need during winter and Christmas in particular.

For more information, click here.

Kids Can

Countdown has partnered with KidsCan for a number of years including supporting their Christmas Cracker Appeal and helping them to provide food for more than 30,000 children around New Zealand every day, who would otherwise go hungry.

Most recently, Countdown has partnered with KidsCan to support 25 early childhood centres in Northland, Auckland and Hawke’s Bay, helping around 950 of our youngest, most vulnerable New Zealanders - our babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers - by providing ingredients for fresh meals with with help from our online shopping network. We’re working with KidsCan to help make this programme in more early childhood centres too.

Free Fruit For Kids

Since 2015, Countdown has provided free fruit for kids shopping in our stores. We now give away about 50,000 pieces of fruit each week, giving children a healthy and free snack to eat while shopping with their parents.

Around 10 million pieces of fruit have been given away since the programme began.

Growing for Good

Each year, primary and intermediate schools, and Early Childhood Education Centres throughout New Zealand apply to Countdown's Growing for Good fund to help them undertake sustainability projects - many of which focus on growing edible gardens and orchards that can be used by the whole community.

Local store sponsorship and donations

With our stores operating in 183 communities throughout Aotearoa, and serving more than three million Kiwis each week, we have our finger firmly on the pulse of what matters to our customers and their families.

Whether it’s donating food through food rescue, supporting a local school with a sausage sizzle, or providing Free Fruit for Kids at the local sports field, Food for Good is our way of being a good neighbour, and supporting the places we live and work in.