The Salvation Army foodbank in Waitakere ran out of food last week; an indication of the strain many New Zealand whanau are under as they struggle to afford the cost of living.
Wednesday, October 16 is World Food Day, and as demand for services offered by The Salvation Army remains strong, so too does the generosity of New Zealanders, who have so far donated $1.4m worth of groceries to The Foodbank Project, New Zealand’s only online foodbank.
The Salvation Army’s community hubs in New Lynn, Papakura, Napier, Palmerston North and Invercargill recently became beneficiaries of The Foodbank Project, taking the number of Salvation Army foodbanks receiving online donations to 18.
Rather than dropping off food donations to supermarket donation bins or their local foodbank, New Zealanders can visit https://www.foodbank.org.nz and choose from individual items or bundles designed to meet the specific needs of local communities, including fresh produce, personal care and cleaning products.
Each week Countdown supplies the groceries that have been purchased by donors to The Salvation Army at cost and delivers them for free.
“I’ve seen first-hand how stressful it is when foodbank shelves are empty,” Jono Bell, The Salvation Army’s Community Ministries Director says.
“The online donation process is very quick and means we can respond to urgent need.”
“Our foodbanks are often the first port of call for people with an increasingly complex array of needs, and The Foodbank Project is a tangible way for people to help those who need it most,” Jono says.
The Foodbank Project donations go to the following Salvation Army foodbanks:
The Foodbank Project – extra information
• The majority of donors are female
• Every donor is linked to their nearest participating Salvation Army foodbank and the “most needed” items on The Foodbank Project website are specific to the needs of a particular area and updated regularly
• The Foodbank Project has been particularly successful for responding to short-term, urgent needs such as nappies and women’s sanitary products. More than $120,000 worth of sanitary products have been donated alone since the website began
• The most popular bundle to donate is the ‘Women’s Bundle’ of sanitary products, followed by ‘Essentials Bundle’ containing milk, cereal, pasta ingredients, canned spaghetti and baked beans and sanitary items
• More than half The Foodbank Project donations are from recurring donors
• Some of The Foodbank Project’s most generous donors live outside of New Zealand, highlighting that expat Kiwis also want to do their bit to help their fellow New Zealanders
• The top ten donated items via The Foodbank Project:
1. Penne pasta
2. Long-life milk
3. Canned baked beans
4. Long-grain rice
5. Mixed vegetables
6. Canned spaghetti
8. Women’s sanitary products
9. Canned tomatoes
10. Toilet paper.