Gearing up for food rush
Foodbanks in the region are gearing up for a huge Christmas rush, with most saying this year has been the toughest the region has seen in years.
About 960 of the 60,000 food parcels delivered nationally by the Salvation Army each year go to needy Waikato residents.
Territorial community ministries secretary for the Salvation Army, Major Pam Waugh, said there was an ever-growing need for food parcels, and urged people to help those less fortunate.
‘‘Some families have a constant struggle to meet basic needs such as food, clothing and housing, and with increasing financial hardship affecting a wider cross-section of the population, the need for the Salvation Army’s services this Christmas will be greater than ever before,’’ she said.
Salvation Army major Lindsay Chisholm said the Hamilton branch was expecting to distribute food hampers to 110 families this Christmas.
Sharyn Goodin, who runs the Morrinsville foodbank, said the rush started last month, earlier than most years.
In Tokoroa, foodbank volunteer Ruth Ramea said the Carter Holt Harvey redundancy announcement would add to a ‘‘really, really bad’’ year.
But she said the Tokoroa community ‘‘ band together to help each other’’.
Otorohanga foodbank coordinator Aileen Berriga said that things there were much the same as in previous years, other than a rise in single adults needing food parcels.
She said Otorohanga was lucky to have some generous donors. Fairfax NZ
SPREADING THE CHEER: Countdown Waikato area manager Karl Wareham, standing, left, and Hamilton store manager Gary Whiteham, centre, give goods to Salvation Army officers Roger Stack, front, and Lindsay Chisholm.