In recognition of the increasing demand for food support and the critical work carried out by the New Zealand Food Network (NZFN), donor partner and iconic household brand, Sanitarium is increasing its intentional giving of Weet-Bix by 50 percent to help feed vulnerable communities and whānau facing food insecurity.

Sanitarium will donate 2.4 million breakfasts or 99,144 packets (75 tonnes) of Weet-Bix to NZFN throughout 2023. That’s enough to feed a meal to the entire Auckland, Wellington, Bay of Plenty and Taranaki regions or enough Weet-Bix boxes to run the length of 213 rugby Fields.

NZFN deeply appreciates this act of goodwill in its efforts to re-distribute food to over 60 food hubs to reach the many communities across Aotearoa. Donations like these are vital for NZFN to continue carrying out this work at a time when the devastating Auckland Anniversary floods and Cyclone Gabrielle have displaced many people. In addition, those struggling with the socio-economic impacts of the pandemic and the rising cost of living have been driving more families into food insecurity.

Nearly three-quarters (72 percent) of NZFN’s recipient food banks and charities are feeding more people now than in December 2020. Data pulled from NZFN’s recent food hub survey has found demand for food support soared by 165 percent since the start of Covid-19 in January 2020.

Through recipient food hubs, NZFN is providing much-needed kai relief to almost half a million people (480,104) per month, and this Weet-Bix will be a welcome addition to the widespread support.

According to NZFN, Sanitarium’s generous contribution offers a healthy option for those who need it the most, demonstrating their commitment to making a positive and sustainable contribution to food and nutrition insecurity.

“We are extremely grateful for this pledge and the wider ongoing support from Sanitarium. It’s such a meaningful, active commitment and will assist greatly in scaling up our operations to feed those in need,” said NZFN Chief Executive Gavin Findlay.

Findlay stated that now more than ever, the organisation appreciates Sanitarium's readiness to respond to unexpected events and donate additional products to alleviate some of the stress communities face during these challenging times. 

Finlay added that the household brand’s Weet-Bix received in food parcels was bound to be reassuring and empowering for every Kiwi served. The product obtained by NZFN is not surplus, damaged or nearing expiry. It has, however, arrived in perfect condition, gifted by Sanitarium to create a more food-secure New Zealand. 

“Providing nutritious and affordable food for Kiwis has been our mission and purpose for generations. The New Zealand Food Network does amazing work for communities, and Sanitarium is proud to share in its journey to support those in need. It’s a partnership we value immensely,” shared Sanitarium NZ General Manager Robert Scoines. 

Scoines hoped that Sanitarium’s donation would encourage New Zealanders to choose nourishing foods, such as whole grains, to enrich their local communities, providing healthy and familiar options, particularly during times of need. 

Press release featured in The Scoop

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