Grocery grab for food rescue appeal
Supermarket staff tore around the aisles with three shopping trolleys.
Their aim: to collect as many products as possible needed by the Salvation Army within 90 seconds.
The haul of goods went to the Salvation Army’s Food Rescue Winter Appeal.
Demand on Hamilton’s foodbanks has increased by about 30 per cent in past winters, as people find it difficult to pay the bills and put food on the table during the colder months.
The appeal aims to provide help to the number of families and households in need.
With Countdown Te Rapa, the Salvation Army performed its annual trolley drive recently to illustrate the products that families can find themselves particularly in need of as winter sets in.
‘‘Helping the Salvation Army was the perfect way to do that little bit more to help the community,’’ store manager Justin Herewini said.
‘‘We wanted to donate some items they were short on.’’
The Salvation Army expects that more than 30,000 families throughout the country will need to access the organisation’s foodbanks due to the cold.
‘‘It’s power bills, it’s doctors visits. Every households expenses increase in winter,’’ Jenny Collings from the Salvation Army said.
There were many challenges posed to lower income families in the cold seasons, she said, with rent eating up a significant part of the weekly budget.
‘‘So where we’re able to help with food, the goal there is to really try and help stabilise those families and help them get through.’’
The relationship between the Salvation Army and Countdown has now been running for several years.
The contents collected from the bins in Hamilton then go directly to the foodbank on London St.
‘‘That’s what keeps our shelves stocked so that then our team can make up the food parcels,’’ Collings said.
Volunteers manage the foodbank and keep the whole operation ticking over.
The appeal for donations runs until June 17. Customers can donate food in any Countdown store year-round using the Food Rescue bins in each store, donate online via The Foodbank Project, or donate money in-store at the checkout.
Items sought after include frozen meat, vegetables, hygiene items, tinned goods and dairy.
Countdown staff and Salvation Army representatives drove trolleys in the Food Rescue Winter Appeal. From left, Aimee Smith, Justin Herewini, Jackie Mills, Karleena Auva’a and Jenny Collings.