Gear­ing up for food rush

South Waikato News - - NEWS -

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.

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