Lower Hutt Foodbanks Urgent Donation Appeal
The Lower Hutt Foodbank is urgently appealing for cash donations to help address a spike in demand for food packages.
“We don’t have enough on hand to feed the amount of people who are asking us for help. If we don’t figure something out, we’ll run out of funds by the end of this year and we’ll need to consider shutting down our operation after 37 years.” explains David Douglas, the Chairperson of the Lower Hutt Foodbank.
To supplement food donations, the organisation relies on funds donated to buy the necessary items for food packages. The items are bought at retail prices, which have significantly increased due to inflation.
Over the last year the Foodbank has seen a dramatic increase in demand for assistance. Last year the Foodbank helped a total of 13,700 people and distributed over 3500 food packages. Demand has increased 80% in the last year, from an average of 365 food packages per month to 655 food packages per month.
Food donations from local producers, partners such as the Te Awa Kairangi Kai Collective and Kaibosh, and the community fill approximately 500 food packages per month. Regular financial donations provide a further 50 food packages per month, meaning the Foodbank is rapidly depleting its cash reserves. “We are currently spending between $15,000 and $17,000 per month on food to meet additional demand. As you can imagine, COVID-19 and other economic factors have hit families and vulnerable people quite hard. We recently held a food drive at local supermarkets, and some people told us that they would like to help, and have in the past, but are struggling to purchase enough for their own household currently. Some of our regular donors have had to stop their payments because of their own financial struggles. It’s a very challenging situation. We just don’t have enough donations to assist everyone that’s lining up at our door for food at the moment, and we don’t expect that the demand for food packages will ease anytime soon. We’re calling on our local community to give us a hand”.
David and the other 35 volunteers that run the foodbank are urgently asking those in and around Lower Hutt to consider making a regular weekly donation of funds through the organisation's Givealittle page. “Our goal is for 500 people in Lower Hutt to donate $5 (about the cost of a coffee) every week. This would make an incredible difference to our ability to help those in need.”
You can set up your weekly donation at www.givealittle.co.nz/org/lhfoodbank
Posted: Fri 09 Jun 2023