Statement from the Board of the Aotearoa Food Rescue Alliance

22 November 2021

The Aotearoa Food Rescue Alliance (AFRA) was formed following the first Covid-19 outbreak in New Zealand in response to the huge and immediate increase in food insecurity across our communities.

Covid is more than just a highly infectious respiratory virus – it threatens our livelihoods, our collective and individual wellbeing, and our access to the necessities of life, including food.

As with addressing food insecurity, there is a collection of ways to fight Covid-19. The AFRA Board recognises that vaccination is the most powerful tool that we have against the virus, and the one that offers the highest level of protection and manaaki to our communities.

AFRA strongly encourages our members to adopt and implement a vaccination policy across their food rescue organisation. We have provided practical support in the form of templates, examples and workshops, and will continue to assist our members in any way we can. Our recommended approach is to undertake role risk assessments to identify positions that are at a high risk of catching or transmitting the virus, and to apply a vaccination requirement where necessary.

AFRA recognises the work that food donors are undertaking to implement their own vaccination policies and where this affects our members, we will work alongside them to meet new requirements. We will continue to collaborate with our food rescue partners – supermarkets, retailers and food producers – to help each other do the best we can to protect our communities from Covid.

Our Board believes we must do all we can to ensure safe, healthy environments for everyone we work with, and work for, so that we can continue to reduce food waste and nourish our communities.