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Funding boost for Gizzy Kai Rescue

A volunteer group helping to reduce the amount of food waste going to landfill hopes to be self-sufficient, after receiving a big funding boost.

Eastland Community Trust this week distributed $231,363 to Gizzy Kai Rescue (GKR) for staff wages over three years.

“We are extremely proud to support Gizzy Kai Rescue. Helping our people and our whenua, is a win-win for Tairawhiti,” ECT board member Ailsa Cuthbert said.

Since October, GKR has rescued and redistributed 26 tonnes of surplus food and non-food items to community groups for whanau in need, throughout the region.

GKR has a three-year plan to address the scope of waste and need in-region and to do this they need permanent paid staff to increase redistribution and measure community impact.

Its funding application to the trust included a detailed plan to become self-sufficient, if its application was successful.

GKR co-founder and treasurer Sarah Punnett said the group was “thrilled” to receive the distribution.

“The impact of this funding on our region is going to be huge. We will be decreasing landfill by rescuing more food and increasing the wellbeing of our community, by distributing this food to those suffering hardship and we will be providing employment.

“With funding over three years we know we are definitely here to stay. It gives us the initial financial stability to unleash our potential and build Gizzy Kai Rescue into a more self-sufficient organisation.”

ECT chief executive Gavin Murphy said green waste was a significant additive to carbon emissions.

“Gizzy Kai Rescue make a big difference in our communities. The main thing is our local whanau and community groups they provide for, however we cannot underestimate their massive contribution to the region’s 2024 long-term plan, to reduce green waste by 40 percent.”

In total, ECT has earmarked $12 million for distributions over the 2019 to 2020 financial year. For more information about funding people could visit the ECT website, message the Eastland Community Trust Facebook page or call 06 867 2640?.

THRILLED: Gizzy Kai Rescue volunteers Sister Kaivaha and Sister Empey, from the Church of Latter Day Saints with GKR operations co-ordinator Michele Rodriguez Ferrere, and volunteers Anna Fry and Ann Stephens. Picture supplied by Keepa Digital