Why throw out food good enough to eat?
This is the question posed by a new project, Nourished for Nil, which will start collecting food this month destined for landfill and redirecting it into Hawke’s Bay tummies.
Christina McBeth and Louise Saurin met through social media after one floated the idea of creating the service.
Saurin said the model was operating in different parts of New Zealand, such as food rescue shops in Palmerston North and Auckland.
“We are just the middle man, the solution was already there,” she said. “It was a matter of someone taking the initiative to do it.”
The group, based in Hastings, will collect unsold goods from Hawke’s Bay cafes and bakeries which would end up heading to landfill then take them to a site in central Hastings for anyone to collect.
The food will be safe to eat, but deemed unable to be sold by stores.
Eventually the group wanted to extend the service to offering a range of food headed for skip bins, including fruit and vegetables deemed unsaleable, or even fruit collected from backyard trees which was too much for the owner to eat.
McBeth said the focus was not on feeding people – although it was a good by-product – but on reducing unnecessary waste.
“It’s not a complex thing we are doing, we are just stopping food from going into the bin.”
The food was open to anyone, no questions asked, although people were asked to be mindful of others by only taking what they needed.
The pair were currently finalising details with the first trail run planned for February 13, with the official opening the following day.
Each weekday afternoon volunteers would pick up the food to be placed on tables under gazebos in a public space in Hastings’ central business area from 4pm to 7pm, or until food runs out, for anyone to collect.
The exact location will be confirmed soon.
Nourished for Nil has 25 volunteers plus 10 confirmed food donors, but are looking for more of both.