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