Food res­cue serv­ing Welling­ton re­gion


Most peo­ple wouldn’t know what to do with 10 tonnes of tinned toma­toes, but Tracy Welling­ton has plenty of mouths to feed.

The ten pal­lets, or 24,267 cans, do­nated by Food­stuffs North Is­land will soon be fill­ing cup­boards in the Hutt Val­ley, Porirua and Welling­ton.

For the past five years Welling­ton’s char­ity Kiwi Com­mu­nity As­sis­tance is the place other char­i­ties have gone to for help.

Her or­gan­i­sa­tion col­lects un­wanted food from sup­pli­ers and dis­trib­utes it to other char­i­ties which then pass it on to their clients.

‘‘My hus­band and I never wanted it to be about us, we just wanted to help peo­ple. We have our fin­gers in a lot of pies, but they don’t have our name on them.’’

This year her char­ity has fed more than 12,000 peo­ple in the Welling­ton area with 55 tonnes of food from su­per­mar­kets, mar­kets and dis­trib­u­tors.

The group works with 51 part­ner agen­cies and Welling­ton said there would be an­other ten added this fi­nan­cial year.

‘‘The need out there is def­i­nitely grow­ing, it used to be a low so­cio eco­nomic prob­lem, but now it’s ev­ery­one.

All it takes is for some­one to lose their job and have their lines of credit dry up and they’re in trou­ble.’’

The group also col­lect house­hold items, food and cloth­ing from des­ig­nated drop off points that are then sup­plied to other char­i­ties.

Boxes of shoes, beds, heaters and wash­ing ma­chines are stacked in the ware­house wait­ing to be as­signed to new homes.

‘‘Any sheets that have stains on them are sent to Aro­hata prison where the women cut the marks off and sew them into bas- sinet sheets.’’

Welling­ton said the need for help was grow­ing ev­ery year and as winter sets in blan­kets and heaters fly out the ware­house doors.

She has just gained an­other sup­plier, this one from Nelson, who will ship their un­wanted food items to John­sonville.

‘‘It’s ac­tu­ally cheaper for them to ship it here than dump it.’’

Welling­ton said it cost at least $55,000 to run Kiwi Com­mu­nity As­sis­tance and any fund­ing short­fall ended up on her mort­gage.

‘‘The biggest cost is our ware­house and that’s al­ready sub­sidised... ev­ery­thing else is bor­rowed.’’

The group is fundrais­ing with a screen­ing of Just eat it on August 1 at the Light House Theatre in Pau­ata­hanui.

Tracy Welling­ton’s char­ity has just re­cieved 10 tonnes of tinned toma­toes

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