What is the Lower Hutt Community Foodbank?
The Foodbank was started in 1996 when Sir John Kennedy-Good, then the Mayor of Lower Hutt, saw a need to better serve the less privileged members of the community. The Foodbank is registered as an incorporated society 2054232) and as a charitable entity (CC25676). Its charitable status means that monetary donations are eligible for a tax rebate.
Who is involved?
The Lower Hutt Community Foodbank is a volunteer organisation. There is also a part-time paid Service Coordinator who interviews clients.
How is the Foodbank managed?
The Foodbank is managed by a committee consisting of volunteers who are elected annually at Annual General Meetings held in August each year.
How many volunteers are there?
About 35 volunteers work for the Foodbank. They come from all parts of the Hutt community with different ages, backgrounds, ethnic groups, religions, abilities and skills represented.
How much does it cost to operate the Foodbank?
It costs about $80,000 a year to operate the Foodbank, with this cost split fairly evenly between the salary of the part-time Service Coordinator, supplementary food purchases and rent and other operational expenses.
The Foodbank’s income comes from grants and donations with a roughly even split between the two. It does not receive direct funding from central or local government. For more on current sources of income see Supporters.
How much food is distributed?
The Foodbank provides parcels with enough food to feed individuals or, in the case of families, all members of households for one week. Food parcels therefore vary in size depending on the number of people they supply and their ages. They also vary in size and composition depending on the amounts and types of food items available.
The Foodbank distributes about 2000 food parcels per year. These support about 120 people in an average week. About 2700 adults and 3400 children get help from the Foodbank each year.
Where does this food come from?
Around 90% of all food distributed is donated to the Foodbank by the Lower Hutt community.
Donations are received from schools, businesses, workplaces, service clubs, sports groups, churches, supermarkets, and individuals. The Foodbank could not operate without this support.
The remaining 10% of food is purchased using funds raised. The Foodbank participates in the supermarket food appeals in May and November each year. These are region-wide appeals for all foodbanks in the Wellington Region.
During these appeals, shoppers are asked to donate at least one grocery item and these are collected by volunteers stationed at five supermarkets within the Lower Hutt valley on the designated Saturday.
Who does the Foodbank provide assistance to?
Food assistance is provided to individuals and families within the Lower Hutt community who are in true need. Clients come from all suburbs within the Lower Hutt valley - from Petone to Stokes Valley, and from the Western Suburbs to Wainuiomata and Eastbourne.
How does the Foodbank work within the community?
The Lower Hutt Community Foodbank works closely with other service groups within the Hutt community to provide assistance to those with needs beyond simple shortages of food. A shortage of food within a household is often a symptom of other problems that also need to be addressed. The support groups we work closely with are listed on our What We Do page.