Honey manufacturer Manuka Doctor has announced that it will donate 50 tonnes of New Zealand honey to families in need. The 200,000 pots of gold will be distributed by national food rescue charity KiwiHarvest to local community groups and charities around the country, helping to meet the ongoing demand for food assistance as the financial impact of COVID-19 continues to put pressure on Kiwi families.
Manuka Doctor Director, Nicola Macfarlane, says “we’d seen the increasing number of news stories about Kiwis in desperate need of assistance and really just wanted to do something to make a positive difference. COVID-19 has created an opportunity for businesses like ours to stand up and show their local support.”
“The donated honey has been manufactured under a newly created label, #beeingkind – a name which reflects not only our ethos at Manuka Doctor, but the Government’s COVID-19 motto. It’s about New Zealanders helping New Zealanders.”
KiwiHarvest saw a drastic increase in food distributed during the lockdown period, as families noticed the financial impact. In February they distributed 98,000kgs of food, compared to 171,000kgs in April, and increase of 74.5 percent.
KiwiHarvest CEO, Gavin Findlay says they’re grateful to Manuka Doctor for their generous donation which will help to meet the rapidly increasing demand for food parcels – and provide a nutritious, sweet treat to families in need.
“Although we have moved out of lockdown, food insecurity is still a significant problem across the country. Food banks and community groups continue to receive requests for assistance as many Kiwis are still struggling to provide the basics for their families.”
“Unfortunately, the financial implications of COVID-19 are felt most by our vulnerable communities, and those impacts will be felt for a long time. We’re incredibly thankful for the support from organisations like Manuka Doctor who are helping to meet the ongoing food necessities of those whoneed it most,” says Findlay.
KiwiHarvest has started distributing the honey to its recipient agencies around the country, beginning with its local Auckland beneficiaries before circulating it to other regions.
One of those recipient agencies is RāWiri Community House in South Auckland – and co-founder, Liz Kiriona says they are grateful for the donation which they have added to their family sized food parcels.
“Since the end of March, we’ve handed out over 1,000 food parcels. Honey is liquid gold as we never receive anything like this – especially coming into winter with its well-known wellbeing properties,” says Kiriona.