The Salvation Army’s Whangarei foodbank is set to open an extra day each week thanks to a $15,000 donation from Countdown. The much-needed financial boost will bring the foodbank’s operating days from four to five, a move the Salvation Army says is needed to meet rising demand in the community.
The Salvation Army National Secretary for Social Services, Major Pamela Waugh said the foodbank is facing increased pressure due to people returning to Whangarei from Auckland, as well as rising living costs affecting existing local individuals and families.
“We’re seeing increased demand for food parcels across Whangarei and the wider Northland region. Countdown’s generous donation will enable us to open the food bank doors one extra day each week so we can provide help and support to more people in need,” said Major Waugh.
“Our partnership with Countdown is invaluable in providing support to our local Whangarei community, as well as nationally through Countdown’s Food Rescue programme.”
The move to five-days-per-week was celebrated today with an official re-opening of The Salvation Army Whangarei foodbank, with the ribbon cut by local MP Kelvin Davis.
Countdown’s Northland regional manager Chris George said the business is proud to build on its existing food rescue relationship with The Salvation Army.
“Countdown stores throughout Northland already donate safe, high-quality surplus food to The Salvation Army to help feed members of the community struggling to make ends meet. We’re proud to extend this support to The Salvation Army through funding that enables the foodbank to open Monday to Friday,” said George.
Countdown also recently expanded its donations to The Salvation Army in Whangarei to include perishable food and also supports the wider community to donate food and essential items to The Salvation Army through in-store donations and The Foodbank Project – New Zealand’s first online food bank.
The Salvation Army gave out 2,744 food parcels in Whangarei in the year ending 31 March 2017 as well as providing support via budgeting services, advocacy and social services.
Countdown’s Food Rescue programme donates around $3.5 million in food each year to charity partners including The Salvation Army.