Friday, 07 August 2020

WHITIANGA WEATHER

Donations to Foodbank are flooding in as locals reach out to locals

When the call went out to help support others in the community who may be doing it hard, Whitianga and Mercury Bay were all over it.

Bags of groceries have been flooding in over the first week of New World Whitianga’s Family2family Foodbank Appeal which sees locals ensuring everyone in the community has enough food and other essential items this winter. The nationwide initiative sees every New World store in the country partner with their local foodbank, many of which have been experiencing huge increases in demand since the impacts of COVID-19 hit jobs and incomes.

Owner of New World Whitianga, Kerry Stanley, says the store was working with the Whitianga Social Services foodbank, which was doing an incredible job. “I think it’s great to be able to support them again especially at this time of year when I’m sure things are bit more difficult for many people with higher power bills, and so on,” he says.

“We’ve been so impressed by the number of bags that have come in, just in the first week. It shows once again what a kind and caring community we have and people do really want to help wherever they can.”

As part of the appeal, which runs until 12 July, brown paper bags have been dropped into most mailboxes in Whitianga.

“People can fill that bag, either at the supermarket or with items they already have in their pantry and then drop it off at New World,” Kerry says. “We think we have covered most areas of the town, but if anyone has missed out there are more bags available in store.

Kerry adds that it doesn’t matter where the items have been purchased from, as long they are perishable. “So cereals, canned goods, rice, pasta, biscuits, all that sort of stuff is ideal,” he says. Other useful essentials that could be donated include toiletries such as soap, shampoo and feminine hygiene products.

Kerry believes that the response has been so positive because local people were already aware that there is need out there in the community. “I know a lot of people have been wanting to do something to help but maybe weren’t sure how, so this is a really simple way for us as a community to look after each other,” he says.

Once dropped off, the groceries head to Whitianga Social Services where the Foodbank team ensure the donated goods are distributed to those who need them. With almost two weeks still to go, there is still lots of time to contribute. “It has a been a great start so we really hope to see this continue for the remainder of the appeal and having as many people as possible getting involved in what is looking like a really fantastic community effort,” Kerry says.

It is anticipated that there may be individuals and families within Mercury Bay who have never engaged with the Foodbank before, but have now experienced a sudden loss or drop in income, and may benefit from some help even just on a short-term basis. Anyone needing assistance through the Foodbank can contact Whitianga Social Services in confidence on telephone (07) 866 4476 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or get in touch via www.wcst.org.nz.

Pictured: Ben Conning of Whitianga Social Services (left) with Kerry Stanley of New World Whitianga at some of the bags of groceries that have last week been donated to the nationwide New World Family2family Foodbank Appeal. New World Whitianga is supporting the Social Services foodbank in the appeal.

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