KIWIHARVEST TRUCKS VANDALISED

An Auckland-based food distribution charity is potentially facing a lengthy uphill battle after both of its trucks were broken into last week.

KiwiHarvest provides an innovative way for businesses to redistribute excess good food. The charity works with food businesses from wholesalers to cafés and supermarkets, working as a conduit between the suppliers who donate the food and charities that KiwiHarvest believes can use the food in the most efficient way.

The trucks were parked at the KiwiHarvest headquarters in Ellerslie when the break-in occurred. The windows of both trucks were smashed in, while the ignition was ripped out of one. For a charity that already operates on extremely tight margins, the damage was devastating, and it is currently unable to operate.

“We’re a 100 percent charitable [organisation] so it’s a huge cost to us trying to get the trucks back on the road,” said KiwiHarvest marketing manager Maria Madill. “We had food to be delivered to 14 charities today alone and each one serves hundreds of people. There are hungry people expecting food that we can’t get to.”

“Our job is to make sure the food gets there as quickly as possible,” said KiwiHarvest CEO Deborah Manning. “No money changes hands. Everybody wants to do good but sometimes we need to work together to make sure it happens.”

KiwiHarvest had a particularly large haul that night, having received food from the Taste of Auckland food festival.

By Monday afternoon, however, someone had come to the rescue.

“We shall deliver goodness again tomorrow,” said a post on the KiwiHarvest Facebook page. “Thanks to an awesome team, volunteers, our food donors and the support of so many to ensure we have vans to rescue and deliver food tomorrow. Grateful for all the good people out there. Kia Kaha!”