Food banks busy

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By DAVID HILL

Food banks are helping a part of the North Canterbury community they don’t normally have to support, as the Covid-19 crisis begins to bite.

Community groups are rallying to support Waimakariri’s food banks to help meet demand.

Budgeting Services North Canterbury, Satisfy Food Rescue and Social Services Waimakariri (SSW) have joined with the Waimakariri District Council’s Civil Defence welfare team to form the Food and Budgeting Forum Collaboration to support four food banks across the district.

SSW project facilitator Nicki Carter says Wellbeing North Canterbury’s community pantry at Kaiapoi Community Support, the Oxford Community Trust and Rangiora’s Salvation Army and Hope Community Trust food banks have experienced increased demand in recent weeks.

“We have been anticipating increased demand due to Covid-19 from people who are finding this difficult and are newly unemployed or have reduced incomes.

“We are dealing with a whole new cohort of the community that we don’t normally have to support, but it’s great to see this willingness to work together and share resources and support each other.”

Waimakariri Civil Defence arranged for the temporary loan of two walk-in freezers to store food for the food banks, but it soon became apparent a more permanent solution was needed, Nicki says.

Funding has been received from the Rangiora Masonic Lodge, the Ministry of Social Development’s community fund and local supermarkets for a new walk-in freezer, which Satisfy Food Rescue will use at its Kaiapoi base.

To support the food banks, the forum is launching a public appeal and is seeking donations of money rather than food to ensure public safety. Donations can be made directly to the food banks:

Community Wellbeing North Canterbury Trust: wellbeingnc.org.nz/get-involved/donate/

Oxford Community Trust: givealittle.co.nz/org/oxfordcommunitytrust

Hope Community Trust: Bank account: 3 0674 0012155 00. Particulars: Foodbank. Ref Code: Foodbank. Reference: Donation.

Rangiora Salvation Army: salvationarmy.org.nz/help-us/appeals-events/when-new-zealand-needs-us. Ref: Rangiora Food Bank.