Countdown is New Zealand’s leading supermarket brand, serving 2.7 million customers every week. Countdown has been a supporter of The Salvation Army for many years with more than 180 supermarkets across New Zealand providing food donations to food rescue organisations including The Salvation Army. In the last year, Countdowns Food Rescue programme donated more than $3.7 million of food to The Salvation Army and other food rescue charity partners. Countdown also supports our annual Red Shield Appeal and our Christmas Appeal, and together with their customers, have donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to help supply children and their families with food, clothing and essential items. Please see https://www.countdown.co.nz for more information.
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 their goal towards zero food waste 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 their Food Rescue Partners.
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.
Their Food Rescue partners include The Salvation Army, FairFood, Just Zilch, FoodShare, Kaibosh, KiwiHarvest, Kaivolution, Good Neighbour, Kiwi Community Assistance, and City Harvest.
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 their online shopping network, for free. Countdown 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.
Demand for food parcels peak during the Christmas and Winter periods leading to low stocks in our foodbanks. To help address this Countdown stores across the country join in nationally run appeals to help fill our foodbanks with much needed supplies.
In 2017, every Countdown store donated a $500 trolley of groceries to their local Salvation Army centre, resulting in more than $90,000 of groceries for food parcels. Together with customer donations, 674 trolleys worth of food were donated to us at Christmas, helping meet the needs of 17,000 individuals and families with food assistance.
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 2018, The Salvation Army were recipients of this funding which helped provide chiller and freezer capacity in some of our foodbanks, enabling us to store valuable chilled and frozen food for our food parcels.