City food bank running out of basic supplies

An Invercargill food bank is struggling to keep up with demand as southern residents battle to make ends meet.

Salvation Army Invercargill community ministries food bank co-ordinator Brenda King said demand for food parcels was high, but changed daily.

Some days, 10 to 12 people applied for a food parcel but the next day there may only be one.

The food bank supplied 79 food parcels last month, to the value of $7305, up from 73 in July last year and valued at $6640.

The food bank was running low on some basics, such as Weet-Bix, and had recently run out of rice and pasta and breakfast spreads.

It was uncommon to run out of items, King said.

Staples such as rice and pasta could make meals and it was not good to have them missing from the shelves, she said.

However, Southland Girls' High School year 10 students, who were undertaking studies focused on poverty in New Zealand, offered to fundraise and had also donated food items.

Teacher Michelle Diack said the students held a sausage sizzle and cake stall at the school, raising nearly $300.

The students then went shopping and restocked the items the food bank was missing.

If people wanted to donate to the food bank, there were specific items that would help it out the most. They include pasta, rice, dishwashing liquid, laundry powder, toilet paper, toothpaste, soap and cans of fish.

Food could be dropped in to the community ministries building on Leven St.

The Southland Food Bank Charitable Trust had also had an influx in clients, but had adequate supplies.

Chairman Peter Swain said while he did not know how many more clients had come in during the past few weeks, the food bank had been very busy. Some of the reasons included unemployment and the strain of the winter months.

"People just aren't coping."

The Southland Times