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That’s really nice

Elise Sadler and Lyn Tankersley from Masterton Foodbank receive one ton of rice. PHOTO/ALEYNA MARTINEZ

Supermarkets, community and MP support locals

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Wairarapa supermarkets have collectively raised nearly $17,000 in grocery items and money for food banks over the past week.

Kieran McAnulty, Labour list MP based in Wairarapa also sourced a ton of rice from Wellington Indian restaurant Tulsi, which was donated to Masterton Foodbank.

Lyn Tankersley the Masterton Foodbank co-ordinator said they could not buy rice or pasta at the beginning of the pandemic due to panic buying depleting stock and availability.

The 50 bags of rice weighing 20kg each will be shared out from Mangatainoka to Featherston, McAnulty said.

In Carterton, an anonymous woman challenged Steve Duffield the owner/operator of Carterton New World to match a $1000 donation she sent to the Carterton Foodbank.

He instead matched her $1000 and doubled it, meaning a $3000 boost for Carterton Foodbank plus grocery donations this week.

Yvonne Dowd, co-ordinator of the Carterton Foodbank said in the five years she’s worked there, there had “never been anything as drastic as this before”.

Duffield said he was concerned for families who may not recover financially once Level 2 was declared.

“There will be some businesses hurting, one, two, three months down the track,” Duffield said. “An important message is don’t let pride get in the way of feeding the family.”

Masterton New World raised more than $12,000 in product thanks to staff showing a passion for families in need.

Supermarket owner Clive Webber said it was an “amazing promotion that got close to $6000 in product from customers and that’s in seven days”.

That was then matched by the New World branch.

Pak’nSave Masterton also joined in the food bank drive last week, raising $737 in product.

Owner Andrew Summerville said “We’ve been paying a 10 per cent bonus to all the staff during Level 4 and a number of staff have said they wanted to donate some or all of that, so I said I’ll put $1000 in and see what you guys can get to.”

That tally was not available at the time of publication.

Across New Zealand covid-19 unemployment and lockdown restrictions have produced a huge spike in the number of families needing food grant support from the Ministry of Social Development – over 44,500 more recorded than in March/April last year.

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