South Island’s first self-serve foodbank launched

South Island’s first self-serve foodbank launched

Christchurch City Mission, with support from Foodstuffs South Island, is proud to announce the launch of the South Island’s first self-serve Foodbank on Friday, 23 June.

The new-style Foodbank will operate from the Christchurch City Mission’s new Foodbank building and warehouse at 275 Hereford Street. This site will offer the Mission’s traditional food parcel collection service, as well as a new self-serve Foodbank operation, which is intended to increase the dignity and mana of receiving food support.

In the self-serve operation, City Mission clients will be able to create their own food parcels using trolleys and selecting food from shelves, just as they would in a supermarket, replacing the need to queue for a pre-filled box of food.

City Missioner Corinne Haines said being able to personally choose food would be mana-enhancing for the Mission’s clients. Being able to choose their own food allows them to be supplied with food they are more likely to use and enjoy.

Corinne Haines said she appreciated the support Foodstuffs South Island had given the City Mission in helping to set up the self-serve Foodbank, especially the provision of the shelving and the point-of-sale equipment.

Under the new self-serve approach, clients will receive the usual assessment by City Mission staff, before being allocated points based on how many people there are in the family being fed. They will then be able to “shop” with a trolley, selecting food and spending their points. It’s also planned that staff and volunteers will offer food education guidance while the clients shop.

Mary Devine, Chief Executive of Foodstuffs South Island said: “Through actively supporting Christchurch City Mission’s new self-serve foodbank, we are helping provide dignified food support and hoping to make a real difference. We’re a 100% New Zealand owned co-operative, and our stores and teams serve nearly every community in the South Island. It’s important we do our bit, especially when budgets are being stretched like never before.”

“We are very interested to see how this new self-serve approach is received by the City Mission community,” she added.

Foodstuffs South Island’s support centre and store teams have shared their retail expertise to layout and set-up the new foodbank, donating equipment, providing training, and working with supply partners to source free or discounted racking, shelving, trolleys and product.

Last year alone, the Christchurch City Mission distributed 17,000 food parcels, the equivalent of 685,000 meals for individuals and whānau in need across Canterbury.

By working together, the Christchurch City Mission and Foodstuffs South Island are showing how businesses can help improve access to food in a way that’s respectful and empowering.

Scroll to Top