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Food rescue milestone as Kaibosh turns 10

Wellington’s food rescue charity Kaibosh is celebrating 10 years of rescuing and redistributing food in the Wellington region.

George and Robyn Langlands of Kaibosh in 2009. Photo by  Mike Heydon

During that time, Kaibosh has rescued more than one million kilos of quality surplus food, provided 2.9 million meals worth of healthy food to people in need, and reduced carbon emissions by 795,512kg.

Kaibosh was founded in October 2008 when food retailer Wishbone wanted to donate quality surplus food to local charities, but found such groups weren’t able to collect the food after business hours.

Robyn Langlands, a volunteer at the Wellington Women’s Refuge, offered to pick up Wishbone’s surplus food in the evening, passing it on to the women and children staying at the Refuge’s safe-house.

She and her husband George discovered that other Wellington businesses also had surplus food going to waste, with a number of charities eager to receive it. The couple went on to found Kaibosh, New Zealand’s first dedicated food rescue organisation.

“We’d take the food home to keep it overnight,” says Robyn, recalling filling bags to the brim with food and packing them into their Toyota Corolla hatchback.

“We’d have it stored on the kitchen counters and tables – there was food everywhere.”

Ten years later, Kaibosh now has two bases, in Wellington and the Hutt.

They rescue and sort food from over 40 businesses, with the help of more than 200 volunteers and redistribute it to more than 65 community groups.

Robyn believes Kaibosh has been successful because it’s a solution to two problems: food poverty and food waste.

“When we started there was a focus in society on food waste and Kaibosh tapped into what people were concerned about. Early on we had a lot of support and that just grew as more people found out about our work.”

Kaibosh General Manager Matt Dagger says the past 10 years have been incredible for Kaibosh with the many positive social and environmental outcomes they have been able to achieve.

“We have been carried along by the generosity of our community and the many businesses and individuals who have supported Kaibosh. We’re confident we’ve made a tangible difference in the lives of many less fortunate people, whilst keeping quality surplus food out of landfill.”

Kaibosh relies on the generosity of the community to rescue and redistribute food to vulnerable people in Greater Wellington.

You can help Kaibosh celebrate 10 years by donating $10 a week. This will provide 10 meals each week to people in need.

To find out more, and donate, visit www.kaibosh.org.nz/10for10