Cash boost helps Nelson groups rolling up their sleeves to help community
- 24 March 2022
PHOTO: STEVE FORD/SUPPLIED
Nelson Community Food Bank manager Julie Jane says the community has been generous, but donations are always welcome.
A handful of groups working to meet the extra need in the community have been given an unexpected cash boost.
Nelson Community Food Bank is one of several organisations who received a donation from Network Tasman Charitable Trust.
“It's fantastic, it's a large amount which is helpful as we are extremely busy,” said food bank manager Julie Jane.
The $10,000 would be used to help meet a growing local need, Jane said.
Before the pandemic, the food bank delivered around 2250 parcels each year. This year, that number will likely exceed 11,000.
While they received support from the Ministry for Social Development, their funding didn't cover extras like nappies and dog food, Jane said.
Jane called as many families as she could, especially those with babies, to find out what their needs were. As many as two-thirds were in isolation, she said.
“Some of them are very sick, and they're very appreciative. People are just stuck at home, it's nice to get that parcel.”
They tried to put fresh fruit and vegetables into every parcel, and meet dietary needs as well as catering to the requirements of Nelson's diverse ethnic groups.
Jane made special mention of her volunteers: some had signed up, hearing about the need in the community, while others were working extra shifts.
The food bank welcomed donations of cash, canned goods and garden produce, which could be delivered to the Habitat for Humanity reception at 166 Tāhunanui Drive, she said.
Kai With Love, another organisation that distributes food parcels, also received $10,000 from the trust.
Founder Abigail Packer said they were “bombarded” each day with requests from people who had lost their jobs or were isolating.
“The face of need has changed considerably. It's really touched middle-class New Zealand.”
Network Tasman trustee Judene Edgar said the donation was one of several to “groups we have seen in action”.
“We just know there's so much extra demand out there. These organisations are struggling to meet that demand, and there’s only so much money out there. They were organisations we knew were really stretched, but really stepping up.”
Other organisations who received donations included two Salvation Army branches, Whanake Youth and the Fifeshire Foundation.