Strong demand depletes foodbank stocks

'The shelves are pretty empty'

EMMA BAILEY
Last updated 05:00 18/09/2012
Mary Brown, (front) and Jean Woodall, of St Vincent de Paul, pack food parcels.
JOHN BISSET/Fairfax NZ

HUNGRY MOUTHS: Mary Brown, (front) and Jean Woodall, of St Vincent de Paul, pack food parcels.

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Winter months have put pressure on foodbanks, with Timaru's Salvation Army experiencing a 48 per cent increase in demand.

Timaru Salvation Army community ministries manager Jane Ferguson said 117 food parcels had been given out last month, compared to 79 for August last year.

"Numbers have doubled in the last two years.

"The shelves are pretty empty but we have a number of drives coming up.

"City Mission Christchurch with New World have encouraged people to fill a bag and take it to a local foodbank, also the Cans Film Festival is coming up on November 7 followed by Toot for Tucker on November 19, organised by Timaru Suburban Lions."

At present the foodbank needed cereals, pastas, butter, toothpaste, washing powder, soap and fruit and vegetables.

"We are grateful for all the support our community gives us, enabling us to help others."

St Vincent de Paul foodbank were giving out up to 10 parcels a day, co-ordinator Mary Brown said.

"We are very busy and miles busier than this time last year. It definitely fluctuates."

Anglican Care divisional manager Gwenda Kendrew said the organisation would benefit directly from the City Mission appeal.

"We have been given a lot of food through the City Mission appeal and we are grateful for that.

"We have been quieter this month, some months we give away as little as seven parcels and the biggest month we gave away 47 parcels."

Waimate Salvation Army foodbank co-ordinator Alison Kitchen said demand had eased in the last few weeks but at its busiest there were up to six food parcels a day going out.

"At the moment we are down to three to four food parcels a week, but it can be up to six parcels day. We have had huge numbers some times."

She had noticed certain trends, with an increase in elderly and teenagers seeking food parcels.

"We are seeing a lot more elderly people than we did this time last year. We are also seeing younger people, 18 or 19 years old, who are just going out on their own into a flat and are struggling or have a young baby."

Temuka Combined Churches foodbank co-ordinator Colin Scarsbrook said the foodbank was giving out around 14 to 15 parcels a month. The operation was well supported by local churches and a drop-off bin located at the supermarket.

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- The Timaru Herald

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