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‘Waste Not, Want Not’ research project gets green light


Fact-finding research into food poverty in Wairarapa has been given the go ahead with funding approved by the Lotteries Community Sector.


The funding was applied for by not-for-profit community organisation, Connecting Communities Wairarapa (CCW), for the purpose of understanding the scale, nature, and any unique characteristics of food poverty across the region. The study, which has been titled ‘Waste Not, Want Not’, is being undertaken by local firm Planalytics. It is scheduled for completion by April next year.


Gretchen Saulbrey, CCW’s General Manager, says there are people in Wairarapa who are experiencing genuine hunger. “We know there is real food hardship in Wairarapa. Our social services team sees this on a daily basis and we know that other community groups are witnessing this too. By taking a good look into the depth of the problem we can create a clear understanding of where and why food poverty is happening here in our communities.”


She explains that the research will quantify current and projected levels of food poverty across the region as well as take into account the impact of existing local food initiatives.


“It is great that there are already some food redistribution programmes operating in Masterton, Featherston, Martinborough and Carterton. These are a life-line for many people. The food banks do a wonderful job and Waiwaste’s programme is successful in diverting edible food away from landfill and into the hands of those who are struggling.”


It is hoped that the research results, which will be available as a resource to multiple organisations and agencies, will lead to informed discussions around how food poverty can be alleviated.


“We hope that the research findings will provide insights and useful information for community groups, food suppliers and other interested organisations (such as the local councils, iwi, social services, food banks and businesses) to consider how they might work together to ease food hardship.”


CCW is currently looking for fundraising opportunities to raise money for the work that will inevitably come after the research has been completed. Ms Saulbrey explains that the Lotteries funding is for the research only and that more money will need to be generated for developing and implementing any future food projects.


“We are grateful to the organisers of Toast Martinborough who have given us our first fundraising slot at this year’s event on 18 November. Visitors can donate their Toast francs to the food poverty cause instead of converting the Toast currency back to cash at the end of the day. There will be collection tubs positioned at the currency exchange as well as volunteers with clearly labelled collection buckets.”


CCW has also set up a Give a Little page at givealittle.co.nz/org/connecting-communities-wairarapa. This can also be accessed via connectingcommunities/donate.