Women’s Refuge sup­ported

Waikato News - - FRONT PAGE -

Cam­bridge-based meal delivery ser­vice Emma’s Food Bag is get­ting be­hind Waikato Women’s Refuge Te Whakaru­ruhau to spread the Christ­mas spirit this hol­i­day sea­son.

The com­pany has launched a pub­lic cam­paign to gift Christ­mas Food Bags to Waikato women and chil­dren af­fected by do­mes­tic vi­o­lence.

Lo­cal busi­nesses and in­di­vid­u­als can get in­volved by pur­chas­ing Christ­mas Food Bags at a dis­counted price of $130, which will then be gifted to a fam­ily in one of the refuge safe houses or in the com­mu­nity.

The Christ­mas Food Bag, which nor­mally sells for $159, in­cludes items to make a three-course meal for four to six peo­ple, for lunch or din­ner.

The menu in­cludes a fes­tive an­tipasto plat­ter, chicken with pomegranate glaze, side dishes and a pavlova with berries.

Co-founder of Emma’s Food Bag Emma Sin­clair says she is de­lighted to sup­port her lo­cal refuge this hol­i­day sea­son.

“It’s re­ally im­por­tant to us to col­lab­o­rate with lo­cal com­mu­nity organisations, and Waikato Women’s Refuge is one lo­cal or­gan­i­sa­tion whose work is in­valu­able.

“As a com­mu­nity we need to do what we can to sup­port women and chil­dren af­fected by do­mes­tic vi­o­lence,” says Sin­clair.

Dur­ing Christ­mas about 65 women and chil­dren live in Waikato Women’s Refuge safe houses and many oth­ers are tran­si­tion­ing out of safe houses to the com­mu­nity.

The refuge’s 24/7 cri­sis line is of­ten busy field­ing calls and sup­port­ing women and fam­i­lies in need of sup­port dur­ing the Christ­mas and New Year sea­son.

Waikato Women’s Refuge CEO Ruahine (Roni) Al­bert says Christ­mas is the most dif­fi­cult time of the year for fam­i­lies in their care.

“There is tremen­dous pres­sure on the mums, and the chil­dren can feel left out. They come to us with noth­ing. We do our best to sup­port our wha¯ nau with gifts and a good meal,” says Al­bert. “We would ap­pre­ci­ate any help from busi­nesses or the com­mu­nity to make a dif­fer­ence to our women and chil­dren at Christ­mas.”

Pre­par­ing and en­joy­ing the fam­ily Christ­mas meal was a mem­o­rable part of Sin­clair’s own child­hood. “Un­for­tu­nately, it can be a dif­fi­cult time of year for some fam­i­lies. If this can give some joy this Christ­mas, and help al­le­vi­ate some stress and costs, I’m happy. Emma’s Food Bag is proud to help give the gift of beau­ti­ful, nu­tri­tious food to th­ese fam­i­lies.”

Emma’s Food Bag is one of three Christ­mas ini­tia­tives that Waikato Women’s Refuge has in­tro­duced this year to sup­port af­fected wha¯ nau and raise aware­ness of the is­sue of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence, which tra­di­tion­ally spike over the Christ­mas and New Year pe­riod.

Waikato Women’s Refuge is also ask­ing for do­na­tions which will go to­wards Christ­mas gifts for refuge fam­i­lies — in­clud­ing those in safe houses and those who have re­cently tran­si­tioned into the com­mu­nity. Do­na­tion op­tions are:

■ $20 which will pay for a Christ­mas gift for a child.

■ $130 which will pay for a fam­ily Christ­mas meal pack.

■ $450 for a home­ware starter pack for women and chil­dren mov­ing into new ac­com­mo­da­tion from the refuge.

“We are ex­tremely thank­ful for the sup­port we re­ceive from the com­mu­nity dur­ing this busy time of year. Th­ese do­na­tions make it pos­si­ble to help vic­tims live a bet­ter life, free from do­mes­tic vi­o­lence,” says Roni.

■ To buy a food bag for one of the refuge fam­i­lies or to do­nate, visit www.waika­towom­en­srefuge.co.nz/ do­nate

Photo / Sup­plied

Wha¯ nau help­ing wha¯ nau: Emma’s Food Bag co-founders Emma and Har­land Sin­clair with daugh­ter Ken­zie, are light­en­ing the load for Waikato Women’s Refuge fam­i­lies this Christ­mas.

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