Humans spend an enormous amount of time and resources producing food, and yet around one-third of the food we produce globally does not end up in our stomachs. In New Zealand, the majority of it ends up in landfills, where it breaks down without oxygen and releases harmful greenhouse gases like methane that contribute to global warming. When we throw away this food, we are throwing away all of the inputs required to produce it. Colossal amounts of oil, water, and labour are being wasted - our planet is fragile and we simply cannot afford for this to continue.
At the same time, it is estimated that globally one billion people are going hungry. This is happening right here in New Zealand. A 2014 global survey found one in six Kiwis ran out of money for food. This shows that we have one of the worst food poverty problems in the developed world.
Everybody Eats founder Nick Loosley was first exposed to the enormous amount of food we waste while undertaking research for his Master’s Degree in Green Economics. He saw prime cuts of red meat, fresh avocado, even whole wheels of cheese all just simply thrown away. While overseas, Nick visited 12 projects in the UK and Spain, learning the various ways these initiatives are effecting change in the food system. When he returned home, Nick knew he wanted to do something to help solve the problems of food waste and food poverty in New Zealand.
Nick founded Everybody Eats after working at New Zealand’s national Food Rescue charity Kiwi Harvest. Since June 2017, Everybody Eats has been doing a pop-up each Monday night at Gemmayze St in St Kevins Arcade, a popular restaurant on Auckland’s K’Rd. In September 2018, Everybody Eats expanded to Avondale where we now operate Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights, feeding between 100 and 150 people each night.
We serve restaurant quality, 3-course meals, prepared by volunteer chefs, from perfectly good food that would otherwise go to waste. Meals are served with a smile at shared tables by our amazing team of volunteers. We have received a fantastic response from the media and wider community, with many of Auckland’s top chefs and restaurants getting involved to help feed the masses. Everybody Eats feeds people from all walks of life, rich and poor. Our guests include homeless, elderly or persons suffering mental health or substance abuse problems – everybody is welcome. The customers of Everybody Eats can pay whatever they like, from large donations to nothing at all.