Food banks prepared but always need more

BY KRIS DANDO
Last updated 09:36 11/12/2012

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Porirua's foodbanks are well stocked for Christmas after various appeals and food drives, but January can be a time when they are hardest hit.

Events such as Strong Pacific Families week and the Watties Cans Film Festival have seen Wesley Community Action, St Vincent de Paul and the Salvation Army larders well filled.

Community pantry co-ordinator for WCA Tim Borrer says the generosity of residents for those in need was incredible.

"All our [food] drives were fantastic and the donations, big and small, have made a real difference for us. It shows what a great community we have. We appreciate it all but we could always use more."

The number of food parcels requested in December and January do spike, Mr Borrer says, as families feel the pressure to buy extra food, as well as Christmas presents. Many people have lost their jobs this year.

In December 2011, WCA had 154 applications for food parcels, at least 30 more than the middle part of the year, and those numbers are likely to be the same this month.

Elizabeth Iona from the Salvation Army's foodbank in Warspite Ave says while their shelves are looking full right now, they can empty easily.

"Along with our appeals we've had a number of people just donating, which is so appreciated, but we quickly run out of the basics of canned food. We can always take more."

They are short of baby supplies like wipes and nappies. Ms Iona says they can also take fresh fruit, vegetables and meat.

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