Everybody Eats fights food poverty with new “doggy bags”

April 23, 2021
Everybody Eats fights food poverty with new “doggy bags”

For many of us, the idea of having nothing to eat is a foreign one. Yet it’s a reality for 1 in 5 Kiwis ͥ. Now Everybody Eats, in partnership with some of New Zealand’s top restaurants, will be asking diners across the country to ‘pay’ for their leftovers to help tackle food poverty.

This article was created in partnership with Everybody Eats

If you’ve ever found yourself staring down a plate of unfinished food in a restaurant, the term “doggy bag” may be the first thing that comes to mind. But if the idea of asking for one makes you a little uneasy, you’re not alone. 

In fact, 87% of Kiwis say they would love to be offered a doggy bag but only 5% have ever been brave enough to ask according to research by Love Food, Hate Waste ͥ ͥ. The resulting food waste is a real sticking point for not-for-profit Everybody Eats and beloved chef Al Brown⸻ especially when every day, thousands of Kiwis go hungry.

Now, as part of its ongoing effort to feed vulnerable Kiwis, Everybody Eats has created the Goodie Box, a cleverly reimagined “doggy bag” for restaurant diners who don’t finish their food. Filled and placed on tables at the end of meals, the boxes will enable diners to make an instant $5 donation with Apple or Google Pay by scanning a QR code on the box.

Each $5 donation will provide a nutritious three-course meal at an Everybody Eats kitchen.

Al Brown and Nick Loosley holding the Everybody Eats Goodie Box

Championed by Al Brown, the initiative is kicking off in 37 of New Zealand’s top restaurants, from Brown’s restaurant’s Depot and The Fed, to other Auckland favourites; Cotto, Gochu and Culprit, Wellington’s Field & Green, and Arrowtown’s La Rumbla – with more signing on every week.

Nick Loosley, the founder of Everybody Eats, said “In a moment where there’s too much food, we’re asking diners to think about the other side – those Kiwis who can’t afford anything for dinner, let alone treat themselves to a nice restaurant meal. And of course, we actually want people to take their leftover food home, instead of leaving it for the bin.”

“Kiwis enjoy some of the best food in the world, so for many of us, the idea of having nothing to eat is a very foreign one. Yet, it’s a reality for 1 in 5 Kiwis according to the government ͥ.”

Al Brown is a driving force behind the initiative and is encouraging other Kiwi restaurants to get on board “As a guy who’s in the kitchen every day, I know how much energy goes into great restaurant food, so it really pains me to see so much of it left behind.”

“The amount of food waste in New Zealand is heart-breaking, so offering our customers a Goodie Box, to help feed those who can only dream of a nice meal, is a no-brainer to me. If you have a restaurant and you’re not involved, we’d love to have you on the team.”

Nick Loosley, founder of Everybody Eats, holding a goodie box

Nick Loosely added, “We Kiwis are a polite bunch, and the idea of asking to take leftovers can feel a bit awkward at times. Unfortunately, this stigma is leading to significant food waste, all while a lot of people struggle to put food on the table – something we should be a lot more concerned about. That’s why we put the box right there in your hands, so there’s no longer a reason not to take it.”

Environmentally conscious diners will be pleased to know that the takeaway boxes, generously supplied by Innocent Packaging, are compostable⸻a win-win scenario that  Everybody Eats expects to be a hit with diners and restauranteurs alike.

The next time you head out for a meal, consider dining at one of the restaurants below and contributing to the cause. No need to ask for a doggy bag!

To learn more or get Goodie Boxes in your restaurant, go to goodie.co.nz

Full list of restaurants involved so far




Azabu Ponsonby

Azabu Mission Bay





Fed Deli



Hallertau Riverhead

Hallertau Clevedon





Orphan's Kitchen

Ponsonby Road Bistro


Saxon & Parol

Poni Room

The Engine Room

Three Seven Two



Field & Green

Mr Gos




Hawke’s Bay

Black Barn









La Rumbla

Jacks Point

Slow Cuts



The Gables

Hone's Garden


About Everybody Eats

Launched in 2017, Everybody Eats has prepared over 50,000 restaurant quality meals, from perfectly good food that would otherwise go to waste. The food is on offer on a “pay-as-you-can” basis, and open to everyone, with the goal of helping to feed those who are homeless, or suffering from food poverty. The food is served up on shared tables to help people connect and foster a sense of community. Everybody Eats currently operates from four pop-up restaurants across Auckland, Papamoa, Onehunga and Wellington.

We would love your support in any way you can. Feel free to volunteer, donate or partner with us.

Learn more at EverybodyEats.co.nz

i Govt reveals 500,000 more Kiwis could face food insecurity due to COVID-19, August 29 2021 ii Kiwis are keen for restaurant doggy bags, Love Food Hate Waste