Foodbank demand continues in Central

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ALEXIA.JOHNSTON

@alliedpress.co.nz

Foodbanks across Central Otago are hoping donations continue to roll in as winter continues to bite.

‘I’ve had to go back twice in one day and empty the bags [from supermarket donations] because they’ve been full.

Various foodbank agencies were recently able to replenish their supplies thanks to a donation by the Otago Masonic Charitable Trust.

However, the need for food parcels has continued, prompting a call for more donations.
The Cromwell Resource Centre, Alexandra Community Pantry, Alexandra Salvation Army, Wanaka Community Network and Queenstown Salvation Army each received $440 from the trust last month.

Alexandra Community Pantry co-ordinator Pam Hughes described the donation and support it had received as ‘‘lucky’’.

Mrs Hughes said the Dunstan Eco Action Group had supported the food bank financially this year, and Trents and Alexandra New World had also provided food.

The Cromwell Foodbank had also had a busy fortnight, food items barely hitting the shelves before being distributed to someone in need, volunteer Jill Baird said.

All items were greatly appreciated, particularly coffee, tea and toiletries, she said.

A concept which was working well for the group was a collection point at New World.

Shoppers can add items they have purchased to a bag, which a volunteer collects on behalf of the foodbank.

‘‘It has just been amazing,’’ Mrs Baird said, of how many people were contributing to the supermarket concept.

‘‘I’ve had to go back twice in one day and empty the bags because they’ve been full.’’

Despite that support, items were going out ‘‘as fast as they were coming in,’’ Mrs Baird said.

Salvation Army Alexandra Community Ministries co­ordinator Bess Carbines said the group’s foodbank was ‘‘looking good because the community is so generous’’.

That generosity came from individuals and organisations, including New World.

However, more donations were always welcome, she said.

‘‘We always appreciate things like cleaning materials, items for lunch boxes and nappies.’’

She said clients were being hit in the pocket by high rent prices and power bills.

Demand for food parcels across Wanaka was also high this year.

Community Networks Wanaka manager Kate Murray said the cost of living was the main reason people had to ask for help.