OfficeMax has undertaken a mammoth task to donate more than 200,000 bottles of hand sanitiser to charities across New Zealand ahead of the cold and flu season, equal to more than $1.9 million at retail value and the equivalent of 115 metric tonnes.
What began as an internal initiative in June to contact charities in need, quickly escalated with more than 100,000 bottles donated so far.
Today, OfficeMax is inviting charities, and community organisations in Auckland and Christchurch that would like to request hand sanitiser to email email@example.com to receive free bottles for members of their communities this winter.
The operation will see products ranging from small (375ml) and medium sized (500ml) pump bottles to large refill bottles (1-5L) being distributed to hundreds more New Zealand charities and community groups from its Auckland and Christchurch distribution centres to help fight the spread of germs.
All Heart NZ, the charitable trust that helps redirect businesses’ surplus items away from landfill to communities in need, along with NZ Food Network, the not-for-profit that distributes grocery goods to food rescue organisations**, iwi and charities, were amongst the first groups to receive the hand sanitiser and help distribute it around New Zealand.
All Heart founder, Joseph Youssef, says: “Throughout the course of our three-year partnership with OfficeMax, we’ve been able to redirect countless products to find a positive and circular solution that benefits our communities. The hand sanitiser will help us to support those facing hardships this winter to create a healthier and safer environment for them and their whānau.”
Since the beginning of June, 28,504 bottles have been redirected to more than 30 different community organisations via All Heart NZ, while a further 15,120 bottles have been given to more than 12 charities via the New Zealand Food Network.
New Zealand Food Network volunteer Sophie Percy said the delivery has been welcomed with open arms.
“This is a great initiative that has allowed for widespread support amongst our most vulnerable communities. We’re not able to send hazardous goods mixed in with food support packages, but OfficeMax has come to the party and helped to send hand sanitiser directly to our food hubs and they have really appreciated it,” said Percy.
OfficeMax employees have also been provided with hand sanitiser, with more than 23,000 bottles distributed across Auckland through immediate whānau, friends and their own chosen charities.
OfficeMax m,anaging director, Kevin Obern, said: “With the cold and flu season imminent, it’s important that our communities stay safe and healthy and we know that hand hygiene is a big part of that. Our aim is to redirect product, directly to the charities and organisations who need it most – I’d encourage community organisations to get in touch.”
*Approximate figure of bottles distributed based on best data from OfficeMax. Exact figure may reasonably vary.
** Melanie King, Coordinator – The Food Basket Central Hawke’s Bay District
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