Foodstuffs (South Island) Community Trust donates funding to Wakatipu Charities helping to combat food insecurity

Community organisations in the Wakatipu area are amongst recipients of a grant from Foodstuffs (South Island) Community Trust who’re distributing funds in support of combating the growing issue of food insecurity in the South Island. Basket of Blessings, Happiness House and Wanaka-based charity, Community Networks are amongst the latest recipients to have received funding.

Grants are received in the form of supermarket gift cards and charities and community will distribute them to people in need throughout the rest of 2020 and into 2021.

The grant came about when COVID-19 hit New Zealand shores in early 2020.  Foodstuffs, whose brands include PAK’nSAVE, New World, Four Square, Gilmours and Trents quickly set up an emergency fund distributing $1.3 million in emergency funds to foodbank and food rescue organisations.

With international tourism halted for the foreseeable future and the economic impact of Covid-19 still being widely felt, South Island charities and community organisations are bracing themselves for a challenging 2021.

With the first round of funding already distributed, Foodstuffs (South Island) Community Trust are looking for new grant recipients, with a further $280,000 still to be allocated.

Justin Smith, Chair of Foodstuffs (South Island) Community Trust says, “With our supermarkets situated throughout the South Island, we’re a part of almost every community. The ongoing impact of Covid-19 here is widespread and varied. When we asked what we could do to make a difference, the feedback from our City Missions, food banks and food rescue partners was to assist local charities community organisations to help those most in need.”

New World, PAK’nSAVE and Four Square stores are all 100% locally owned and operated, and proud to have been here for New Zealand since 1922. COVID-19 has strengthened Foodstuffs’ resolve to help look after New Zealand.  The current focus for #HereforNZ is supporting organisations throughout New Zealand that specialise in helping the most vulnerable in our communities to access healthy and affordable food in 2020, and beyond.

Lee Nicolson operations co-ordinator at Basket of Blessings says “We’re incredibly thankful to have received the grant from the Foodstuffs (South Island) Community Trust. The ramifications of COVID-19 on our wider community has meant that we’re distributing more food packages and gift hampers than ever before.”

During lockdown, Basket of Blessings went from preparing 200 meals a month for people in need to over 1,000 meals per week.   At one point, 917 kilos of rescued food from restaurants forced to close during lockdown, were made into meals by the Basket of Blessings volunteers in only three days.

“Since April 2020 we’ve distributed more than 16,000 meals and are expecting to see more demand for our services this year. This grant is going to enable us to further empower our community and will help to meet the increasing need here in the Wakatipu area,” says Nicolson.

Other local charities benefiting from the grant from Foodstuffs (South Island) Community Trust include Happiness House and Community Networks.

Happiness House provides a wide range of support for people living in the Wakatipu area and offer a free produce table every Friday contributed by local Foodstuffs stores and their food rescue partners.

Community Networks in Wanaka are a local resource hub for social well-being services, governed by Alpine Community Development Trust. One area of focus is a community food bank, distributing food parcels to people struggling with food insecurity.

Warren McKenzie owner operator at New World Wakatipu says “Investing in and supporting local charity organisations is something we’re really passionate about. After the year we’ve all had here in Otago, it’s important we all rally together to support one another through this challenging time.”

With just over $300,000 already distributed from the $600,000 raised by the Foodstuffs (South Island) Community Trust, there’s still funding available for more charities and organisations who support their local communities in South Island affected by Covid-19.

Charities and community organisations can apply for a Foodstuffs (South Island) Community Trust grant here on the Foodstuffs South Island website.

For more information about #HereforNZ go to