Funding boost for local foodbank

St Vincent de Paul Ashburton Manager Donna Collins.

The latest Covid-19 restrictions has seen it get increasingly tough for some residents in Ashburton and, as a result, foodbanks in the area have seen an exponential surge in demand for food parcels, putting strain on their immediate resources.

In response, Foodstuffs (South Island) Community Trust has pledged $100,000 of immediate product and financial support to their foodbank partners across the South Island, with St Vincent De Paul Ashburton receiving $2750.

St Vincent de Paul Ashburton provides immediate assistance to those suffering with food insecurity, and their team of volunteers regularly packs and distributes food parcels to those in need.

St Vincent de Paul Ashburton manager Donna Collins said most of the food was donated by people and charities like Toot for Tucker and Meat the Need.

“But when we run out then we need to buy the groceries, that’s the reason for the shop, we sell the goods which pays our power and rent, then we use the money to buy groceries, so the food grant is making that money go further, which is fantastic.”

to carry someone over to the next pay day and have a balance of food that can be put together to make a variety of meals, the parcels include staples like rice, milk, bread, eggs, meat, Weet-Bix, noodles and canned goods, there can also be a treat like chocolate or a hand knitted item included in the packs.

It can be hard for someone who is experiencing a difficult time financially to admit they need support.

“A lot of our referrals come from other people like a neighbour or family member, but we do get self referrals, we ask a series of questions, then take the food parcel out,” Mrs Collins said.

Being able to help people who are in need is a job she loves.

“It’s amazing, I get a huge kick out of doing this, its so nice to help people who, for whatever reason, can’t buy their groceries.”

St Vincent De Paul Ashburton president Michael Hanham was delighted with the additional funding from the Foodstuffs (South Island) Community Trust.

“Many in the locality are doing it tough and the recent Covid-19 restrictions are taking their toll with more and more families struggling to put food on the table. The additional funding from the Trust means we can purchase essential groceries for our food parcels, helping us to meet the increased demand and providing much needed relief for those in our community who need it,” he said.

Foodstuffs (South Island) Community Trust chair Justin Smith said feedback from foodbank partners during the Delta outbreak saw them struggling to meet the community demand.

“So we took immediate action to help. Our foodbank partners and City Missions do incredible work, and we feel privileged to be able to support them.

Charities and community organisations can continue to apply for the Foodstuffs (South Island) Community Trust grant on the Foodstuffs South Island website:

By Daniel Tobin