This year Santa Claus will be helping Countdown to raise $100,000 for families in need this festive season and he’s asking for your help.

As part of the Salvation Army’s Merry Moments fundraising drive, Santa, on behalf of Countdown, is asking Kiwis to take a selfie with an augmented reality Santa and post it on social media.

For every selfie shared, Countdown will donate $5 to The Salvation Army to support families in need of food assistance.

Countdown’s general manager corporate affairs, safety and sustainability, Kiri Hannifin, says the company is confident it will meet the $100,000 target at a time when it’s most needed.

“The Salvation Army is expecting to need to help more Kiwis than ever this Christmas as people continue to grapple with the impacts of COVID-19 and increased food insecurity. We believe everyone deserves to celebrate Christmas without hunger, which is why each donation, no matter how big or small, can make a huge difference,” says Hannifin.

The supermarket chain is also encouraging customers to donate non-perishable grocery items in the specially marked trolleys instore, donate money at the checkout or donate chilled and fresh foods through The Food Bank Project online.

“This year, The Foodbank Project has seen a record number of donations from incredibly generous Kiwis, which means The Salvation Army’s foodbanks have been able to maintain a good stock in the lead up to Christmas,” says Hannifin.

“But The Salvation Army is already seeing rising demand for food assistance as we lead into Christmas, and the reserves won’t go far without top ups. Any money raised will also help cover some of the crucial operating costs of running a foodbank, like keeping the lights on and fridges running so their teams can focus on their most critical role of helping make sure Kiwis don’t go hungry at Christmas.”

Ronnie the Reindeer will also be helping with the campaign for customers who donate non-perishable items instore. Once a food donation has been made, customers can scan a QR code to unlock something magical.

Santa can be found on the Countdown Supermarkets Facebook and Instagram pages on mobile. On Instagram @countdown_nz, customers will find Santa at the tab with the jolly little face emoji. From a desktop computer, customers can scan a QR code to visit Countdown Santa. For more information, check out