The latest Covid-19 restrictions has seen it getting increasingly tough for many New Zealanders and, as a result, foodbanks have seen an exponential surge in demand putting strain on their resources.
In response, Foodstuffs (South Island) Community Trust has pledged $100,000 of immediate product support to their foodbank partners across the South Island. Amongst the recipients are Christchurch City Mission, who received an emergency delivery of essential groceries direct from the Foodstuffs South Island’s Distribution Centre in Hornby.
The emergency funding application was made to the Foodstuffs (South Island) Community Trust by Foodstuffs South Island CEO Steve Anderson, following a call with Christchurch City Mission to advise they were struggling to cope with the uptick in demand for the Mission’s foodbank service.
Christchurch City Missioner Matthew Mark said the organisation had never experienced the level of demand they are currently seeing. “In one day alone last week, we fed nearly 450 people. The hardship the current lockdown is causing is on an extraordinary scale and it was looking like we were going to completely run out of many essentials like canned goods and toilet paper.
“Nearly 50,000 people are supported by our foodbank across the region and we must continue to provide the much-needed food and essentials to people who are being hit so hard by COVID-19.
“We are immensely grateful for the quick and generous support we have received from Foodstuffs South Island and Foodstuffs (South Island) Community Trust. Their emergency delivery and continued support means we’re able to continue to provide this much needed help.”
Foodstuffs (South Island) Community Trust, which was established in 2007, responded to the initial COVID-19 crisis by raising funds from its members and teams across the South Island. The co-operative has promised to be Here for NZ to ensure New Zealanders have access to healthy and affordable food and to support those organisations working in the community to combat food insecurity.
“The call laid bare the dire situation foodbanks are currently facing,” says CEO of Foodstuffs South Island Steve Anderson “They are a vital service in our communities and are providing much needed help to those most affected by lockdown. We are fortunate to be in a position to offer practical and financial support to ensure our foodbank partners can continue to meet the increasing demand for their services and provide a lifeline for many South Islanders
“COVID-19 has once again highlighted the inequities some of our communities are facing. We are part of nearly every community in the South Island and our owners see first-hand the very real challenges facing New Zealanders every day. The co-operative is living and breathing its promise to be ‘Here for NZ’ in every community we serve. The Foodstuffs (South Island) Community Trust, is just one example of the many ways we are reaching out and supporting those who need our help.”
PAK’nSAVE increases support
PAK’nSAVE is donating $100,000 in products to its food bank partners to ensure they can continue providing vital food assistance to those in need and impacted by food insecurity. The donation is part of Foodstuffs North Island’s #HereforNZ Fund and its promise to be Here for NZ.
The donation will go to PAK’nSAVE partner, the New Zealand Food Network, who supply over 75 organisations and food banks nationwide. The New Zealand Food Network supports food rescue organisations, iwi and charities across New Zealand, so that they can continue their work alongside some of New Zealand’s most vulnerable communities.
New Zealand Food Network CEO Gavin Findlay says the ongoing commitment from PAK’nSAVE and the wider Foodstuffs group is invaluable, particularly in these uncertain times. “Many New Zealand families are struggling to make ends meet and the situation has only got worse during this Level 4 Lockdown.
“Nationwide, we are seeing more and more families and individuals accessing food banks for the first time. This is not an issue that is going away any time soon. This generous donation from PAK’nSAVE at such a critical time will be felt with gratitude in homes up and down the country.”
PAK’nSAVE is also donating $20,000 in products to Māngere Budgeting Services, an essential support service working across South Auckland communities, whose food parcel stocks were almost exhausted during the current lockdown.
Foodstuffs North Island’s #HereforNZ Fund is made up of owner contributions from New World, PAK’nSAVE, Four Square and Gilmours stores in the North Island. It is a natural extension of the co-operatives commitment to be #HereforNZ, and a demonstration of its promise every New Zealander should have access to healthy and affordable food.
“We are once again seeing how the impact of lockdown can disproportionately impact some communities. Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, we recognise we are in a privileged position and are thankful for the kindness and support our teams receive every day,” says CEO of Foodstuffs North Island Chris Quin.
“The commitment of the co-operatives to be Here for NZ lives in every part of our business. We are 100% New Zealand owned and operated, our owners and their families are part of the communities they serve and this means they see where there is a need first-hand and work together to help make a difference.”
Every PAK’nSAVE store has a relationship with a food bank or rescue organisation, with the equivalent of 2.5 million meals donated in the last year. Over 40,000 cans were donated to City Missions and local foodbanks across the country thanks to the kindness of PAK’nSAVE customers during the inaugural PAK’canSAVE national winter foodbank appeal. On top of customers’ generous donations, PAK’nSAVE collectively donated $100,000 to PAK’canSAVE charity recipients, ensuring organisations had both the product and financial support to help meet the demand in their local community.
“COVID-19 continues to remind us of the real and ongoing issue of food poverty in New Zealand and we are committed to continuing to be Here for NZ by finding ways both financially and through our collective knowledge to support organisations that have the expertise and skills to help alleviate some of the stress we know our communities are going through right now,” finishes Quin.
New World pledges to provide food support to vulnerable New Zealanders
New World also continues to build on its promise to be #HereforNZ by supporting organisations working at the front line of food insecurity during Level 4 lockdown.
Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch City Missions – and the Student Volunteer Army (SVA) are each receiving contributions from New World to help ensure they can continue providing invaluable support across the country.
As part of New World’s social promise to support every New Zealander to access healthy and affordable food, Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch City Mission will each receive at least $40,000 in support and products.