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Good Neighbour wins TECT Sustainable Future Award

Good Neighbour team with their award. Photo: Supplied

Good Neighbour has been announced as the winner in the Sustainable Future category in the TECT Community Awards.

The charity is well known in the region for their work. Whether distributing rescued food to local community groups, delivering firewood to those in need, carrying out backyard projects and building maintenance, or cultivating community gardens for people to grow their own food, they work to support those facing some of life’s toughest times with a friendly neighbourly hand.

But it is their environmental impact that stood out to the judges. Redistributing food to people in need that is good enough to eat, but not good enough to sell, Good Neighbour prevents 462 tonnes of food going to the landfill each year – $3.1M worth of food.

Cam Hill, Good Neighbour Community Impact Manager, says they are proud to win the award, and that it goes out to all the businesses, volunteers and supporters that make their work possible.

“We rescue about 9.5 tonnes of food from 12 local supermarkets and redistribute it to over 50 local charities and organisations. We could not do that without all the people and organisations that get behind us," says Cam.

“This food is not only redistributed, but some is also repurposed into our kitchen arm; making meals for the community, catering, and mentoring students by teaching culinary skills and confidence, so they are able to continue their education or move on into further employment opportunities for a brighter future.

“We are grateful to be recognised with this award and thank everyone who plays their part in helping us support so many families and our environment.”

TECT Community Awards judge Carlo Ellis says the judging panel were impressed with the scale and success of Good Neighbour’s food rescue arm.

“It is a fantastic model of recovery and redistribution – not only ensuring less food goes to waste, but providing it to those that need it most," says Carlo.

“They are directly benefiting the community and our environment, and we applaud the incredible amount of work that goes into that; the coordination, the collaboration with supermarkets and charities, and the countless volunteer hours.

“I would also like to thank the work of our incredible finalists who are protecting and restoring our native habitats, supporting community-led environmental restoration, and minimising their environmental impact through sustainable practices. They are making a difference today to preserve our region for the future – that is something we can all get behind.”

The other finalists recognised in the Sustainable Future category included Bay Conservation Alliance, Maketu Ongatoro Wetland Society, Western Bay Wildlife Trust, and YSAR Tauranga Trust.

The TECT Community Awards are being hosted online, with a finalist video released every weekday on the TECT Facebook and website until Monday August 3

There are seven award categories: Event Excellence, Sustainable Future, Diversity and Inclusion, Rising Star, Youth Spirit, Volunteer of the Year, and Lifetime Service.

The Event Excellence Award winner was announced last week as STEMFest.

Next week’s award category is the Diversity and Inclusion Award. Finalists are Blue Light, Recreate NZ, The Search Party Charitable Trust, Wish 4 Fish, and Youth Encounter Ministries Trust.

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