Gro­cery grab for food res­cue ap­peal

Hamilton Press - - FRONT PAGE - GARY FAR­ROW

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.

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