The purpose of this paper is to explore the social value food rescue enterprises can create for both their stakeholders and the wider community “in the meantime” whilst longer term solutions to the problems of insecurity and waste are sought.
FoodShare, a New Zealand urban-based social enterprise specialising in food redistribution, served as a case study for this research. Semi-structured interviews (n=13) were conducted with FoodShare staff and key stakeholder groups (food donors, financial donors, recipient agencies and volunteers). In addition, an anonymous online survey (n=40) was completed by the wider organisational volunteer network. The interview guides were structured around a new social value evaluation tool, Social Return on Investment, which is increasingly used to demonstrate the impact of such programmes. Deductive methods were used to code the resulting transcripts to identify key outcomes experienced by FoodShare’s stakeholders.
The outcomes of FoodShare’s work differed for the various stakeholders. For food donors, outcomes included “more involved relationships with community”, and “improved perceptions of corporate social responsibility”. Identified key outcomes for the financial donors included “key promotional opportunity” and “do something good”. For recipient agencies, important outcomes were “greater volume of food” and “increased reach”. Volunteers reported “meeting new people”, “a sense of accomplishment in helping others” and “learning new skills”. There were also a number of nutritional and environmental outcomes for the wider community.
Given the dearth of evidence on the societal value that is created in redistributing unsold food to people in need, this novel perspective makes a significant contribution to the literature in this area.
Mirosa, M., Mainvil, L., Horne, H. and Mangan-Walker, E. (2016), "The social value of rescuing food, nourishing communities", British Food Journal, Vol. 118 No. 12, pp. 3044-3058. https://doi.org/10.1108/BFJ-04-2016-0149Download as .RIS
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