Manuka Doctor donates 200,000 pots of honey to communities in need

New Zealand’s largest privately owned honey manufacturer, Manuka Doctor, has today announced it will donate 50 tonnes of specially produced New Zealand Wild Flora Honey from its Hamilton warehouse to families in need, via national food rescue service KiwiHarvest.

The 100 pallets of honey will be distributed by 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.

“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 – and we’d encourage any and all other businesses that are able to, to do the same,” said Manuka Doctor director, Nicola Macfarlane.

“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,” she said.

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 who need it most,” adds Findlay.

This growing demand was reflected in a dramatic increase in food quantities distributed via the KiwiHarvest warehouse over the lockdown period – up from 98,000kgs in February, to 171,000kgs in April, an increase of 74.5%. From March to May of this year, KiwiHarvest distributed a total of 434,000kgs of food – an increase of over 60% from the same time last year.

Manuka Doctor organised dedicated shifts at its Hamilton-based warehouse during lock down to keep employees working and to pack the 50 tonnes of honey.

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,” said Kiriona.