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Gizzy Kai Rescue’s all good in the hood

The perfect blend of nourishment for the community and a reduction of waste have got new charity Gizzy Kai Rescue noticed.

It been chosen as one of four Gisborne charities up for a portion of $4000 this month as part of the Z Energy campaign Good in the Hood.

Gizzy Kai Rescue is a new charity not many people know about, says co-founder Michele Rodriguez Ferrere.

It is run by more than 30 volunteers.

Every morning, seven days a week, drivers stop at Pak’nSave and Countdown supermarkets to collect food that would otherwise be thrown out.

Other donors, including Gisborne organic vegetable growers Country Foods, Abe’s Bagels, LeaderBrand and Spitfire Catering, contribute when they can.

Bags of bread rolls, ciabatta buns, and pizza buns a day before their best-before date cannot be sold but are still good enough to eat.

There are also fruit and vegetables, other perishables and grocery items, nappies and petfood.

Six days a week the items are boxed up and four main recipient organisations — Supergrans Tairawhiti, House of Breakthrough, Te Hapara Family Services and Te Hiringa Matua — collect the goods and deliver them to people they know need them the most.

Non-perishable items such as petfood, nappies and toiletries are also collected for Women’s Refuge, Plunket and the SPCA.

Being chosen as part of the Z Good in the Hood campaign means they will get a share of $4000 at the end of September. How much they get depends on how many orange tokens they get from people who buy petrol at Z stations.

Gizzy Kai Rescue is always looking for more volunteers so anyone who has time to offer should contact co-founder and volunteer co-ordinator Alena Swannell on 027 930 9408.

There are drivers every day for the pick-up, and four people every day to box up the food.

The charity was jointly created after a meeting between Mrs Rodriguez Ferrere, Ms Swannell and Sarah Punnet.

“The three of us spent more than 18 months researching,” said Mrs Rodriguez Ferrere. “We visited Kaibosh (food rescue charity) in Wellington and got all our ducks in a row first.”

Gizzy Kai Rescue has also been recognised by Eastland Community Trust, which gifted them enough money to employ a manager for three years.

KAI FOR GOOD: Gizzy Kai Rescue volunteers sort the day’s donations to be delivered to people who need it around town. From left are Jason Tamanui from Spitfire Catering, co-founder Michele Rodriguez Ferrere, and Mataroria Lemon and Tangiwai Milner-Madden, from Te Hiringa Matua (Ngati Porou Hauora). Picture by Liam Clayton