FOOD – Key ingredients for a Good Food Nation

28 March 2017

SBN’s Good Food Nation project is about to begin a new phase. We take a look at how some of the organisations involved are helping to transform New Zealand’s food system.

Over the last three years SBN’s work on New Zealand’s food has brought together and helped to train interested groups from all over the country. Together, this National Good Food Network is tackling major issues like malnutrition, obesity and food inequality. We shared some of this work in a previous newsletter at the end of last year.

Here are some further examples of how this work has developed.

In the Bay of Plenty good food advocates are looking at how we can secure our health into the future. Jasmin Jackson is a Healthy Families Rotorua Registered Nutritionist. She is also helping to bring together a Bay of Plenty Food Policy Council. The aim is to harness the knowledge, experience and passion of a huge range of people. This includes farmers, distributors, food businesses, health professionals and researchers.

Jasmin says: “In the next few decades, we are going to face many challenges to our food supply. Dwindling oil supplies, climate change, and the environmental impacts of growing food. This means we need to rethink our approach to feeding ourselves. Getting this diverse group of people together enables us to look at what policies, or lack of policies, impact on our food supply in our region. We can then work together to try and influence change.”

The latest meeting of the group featured Anne Palmer, a leading food policy thinker from the US. She drew a good crowd and wrote up her experiences and insights for the Center for a Livable Future. If you would like to know more about the Policy Council and its work email

Meanwhile, Kaibosh has continued to demonstrate how its food rescue operations play an important role in the transition towards a more equitable food system. Kaibosh’s Lower Hutt branch recently announced it has provided the equivalent of more than 100,000 meals to local community groups. This has also meant a carbon emission reduction equivalent to more than 27 tonnes since opening at the end of last year.

The branch is now working in Lower Hutt, Upper Hutt and Wainuiomata, and continuing to grow. It has a team of more than 40 volunteers. It is being enthusiastically backed by local businesses.

One of the community groups being supported is Vibe, the Hutt Valley Youth Health Service.

Sinead Ward from Vibe says: “Every week Kaibosh supports us to feed over 100 young people throughout the Hutt Valley at Lunchtime Drop Ins at schools. We’ve been able to increase these Drop Ins from three to seven per week. We use this time to connect and spend quality time with young people, before sending them off to class with their tummies full of healthy food. Kaibosh also provides food for our parenting programme. This means young parents and their babies receive a weekly home-cooked nutritious meal.”

Healthy Families Christchurch is bringing the healthy food message even closer to home. The organisation has teamed up with the Falelotu Koipeli Methodist Church and local volunteers to provide training for people to grow their own food in their backyards. The intention is for low income families to be able to save money and eat healthier. The project has even featured on television news

Emily King, project lead for Good Food Nation, says: “These organisations are doing an amazing job of tackling food issues in their local communities. SBN’s nationwide food systems approach seeks to unite initiatives like this across New Zealand. By sharing the challenges and solutions we can continue to transform the way this country eats.”

Emily is moving on from her role with SBN. In the coming months we will be exploring how to develop this network further. If you would like to get involved, email