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Food parcel demand rising

EMILY NORMAN

[email protected]

A hoard of more than 900 cans of food was a welcome donation to Masterton’s FoodBank last Friday.

But it may not be enough to get the organisation out of the slump it is facing this month with record demands for food parcels.

Masterton FoodBank coordinator Lyn Tankersley said in the past fortnight, the demand for emergency food parcels had broken “all records”.

Wairarapa Student Council members (from left) Head Boy Isaac Bracewell, Kendyl Oakey, Head Girl Molly O'Hagan and Victoria Jolliffe with the hundreds and hundreds of cans collected for Masterton FoodBank. PHOTO/SUZANNE OLIVER
Wairarapa Student Council members (from left) Head Boy Isaac Bracewell, Kendyl Oakey, Head Girl Molly O’Hagan and Victoria Jolliffe with the hundreds and hundreds of cans collected for Masterton FoodBank. PHOTO/SUZANNE OLIVER

And even with a hefty donation of cans from Wairarapa College students, much more help was needed.

She said from September 1 to September 13 there had been 142 food parcels delivered to families in need.

It is expected to surpass last month’s total of 286 parcels, which was the highest tally ever for a month.

The highest monthly demand for parcels in 2015 was 199, and in 2016 it was 254.

“We used to be covering the lower class,” Mrs Tankersley said.

“Now it’s up into middle class people.

“People with two or three jobs, where mum and dad are both working, but can’t pay the power.

“People are really struggling out there.”

Mrs Tankersley said FoodBank had supplied an average of almost 16 parcels a day this month and, in the 15 years she has been involved with the organisation, has never seen things this bad.

“It’s just getting beyond a joke.

“[Poverty] is increasing and we just can’t keep on top of it.

“We’re running out of food, we’re running out of money, and there are just more and more people pouring through the door.”

She said the increasing prices of rent, power, and food was likely to be a contributing factor to the increased food parcel demands.

“I never thought it would get this bad.

“You’d like to think it would be improving, but things are just getting worse and worse.”

She was grateful for the donation of food from Wairarapa College students.

The Wairarapa College Student Council had organized a mufti day, asking their peers to bring cans of food instead of money.

She said people in the wider community could also help in small ways.

“People who are more fortunate than others just need to get into the habit of buying one extra thing in their groceries each week and putting it into the supermarket bins.

“That would help us incredibly if everyone did that.”

Each food parcel is valued at about $40 and includes milk, cereal, bread (donated by Breadcraft), jam, margarine, sugar, tea, cans of baked beans, spaghetti, tomatoes, pasta or rice, sausages or pies, eggs, and toilet paper.

 

Where to get help:

Masterton FoodBank: 06-370 8034

Carterton Food Bank: 06-379 4092

South Wairarapa Food Bank: 06-308 8028

 

Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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