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Kiwifruitz - Foodbank Challenge
19 December 2017
Kiwifruitz - Foodbank Challenge

Who in your household or workplace is the most economical shopper?

Three staff members at Kiwifruit Processing Company in Te Puna will have those bragging rights after completing a foodbank donation challenge yesterday. The task for two teams of three was to buy all products on an itemised shopping list for the least amount of money and to do it between 9am and 11.30am.

The winners would be crowned best shoppers.

"We had to run around, we had a list of groceries that we had to get and you had to go around various places, do your Google searching and so forth to get the best prices and come back with the cheapest overall cost and then donate it all to the foodbank," Craig Jeffrey, the company's supply chain manager, said. He said it was a good community project and a productive way for the company to get on board and support the Tauranga Community Foodbank. "It's for a great cause and it's great for the people that need and require it in tough times. And why not get on board? Let's do it, let's support them and let's help out." Jeffrey said everyone knew times were tough at the moment, especially during the holiday season. "Everyone shies away from it and says 'oh we'll do our best' but sometimes you need to put your hand out and say, 'hey, we need some help'. "And more and more people I think are starting to realise that, especially families and younger families who are finding it tough."

He encouraged other companies to get creative and do something similar this week. "Our company decided to do something different and support the foodbank in Tauranga. "It's good for the team environment too because you're going out, you're working together – it's a collaborative thing." As for the competition, Jeffrey said it was going to be close and could come down to a few dollars. His team managed to buy all the items on the shopping list for $242.

Foodbank manager Nicki Goodwin said she was always blown away by the new and interesting ways employers found to encourage staff to participate in giving to the foodbank. "This competition between their staff has been hugely successful in getting them interested in foodbank while doing team building at the same time. Thanks so much for your creative idea."

Meanwhile, the Bay of Plenty Times Christmas Appeal total now stands at $101,880.60 raised. There have been 23,738 food items (valued at $2 each) and $54,404.60 cash donated to the foodbank in just over five weeks. Goodwin said this year's appeal, so far, had been the most successful. "And thank goodness for that given the increased need we are experiencing."

She said she expected the donated grocery items to see the foodbank through to April 2018 without it having to purchase much in the way of non-perishable food items. "The appeal has also given us lots of special food items that we wouldn't ordinarily be able to afford to purchase." Goodwin said the cash donations would go a long way to meeting a good chunk of next year's grocery bill. "Having these donations also gives us the ability to shop smart and buy in bulk. We get some great deals from local businesses and suppliers."

Much like the Kiwifruit Processing Company staff challenge, it is all about stretching the donated dollar as far as possible.

As Featured in the Bay of Plenty Times, Tauranga 19-12-2017

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