Gift of Food Brightens Days, Helps Make Dreams Possible

Volunteer-based trust, Race4Life is determined not to let a global pandemic stand in the way of its mission to grant wishes to palliative care patients across New Zealand. Now, thanks to a $10,000 donation from Foodstuffs, it has been able to continue helping its patients realise their dreams and create memories that can be cherished.

The Race4Life Trust is one of 54 social organisations to have benefited from a more than $1 million pledge by Foodstuffs’ brands New World, PAKn’SAVE, Four Square, Gilmours and Trents. The pledge was announced in April to support New Zealanders who are facing tough times.

Viv James, General Manager at Race4Life, was blown away by the contribution from Foodstuffs and said the donation played a big part in facilitating some family’s wishes and providing others with vital uplifting food parcels.

“The donation from Foodstuffs has touched the lives of many, including one of our inspiring patients, thirty-two-year-old, Napier-based, Tom Mclean,” continued James. “Tom received a devastating prognosis with only months to live.  He wanted to head off for an adventure in the South Island en route to Invercargill, where his family hail from.  Together with his wife and two young children, he got to enjoy a very special family holiday. The $500 New World vouchers took the pressure off worrying about groceries and meant they could focus on what was really important – making memories together as a family.”

For so many others who have been faced with a devastating diagnosis, the spectre of COVID-19 and the second lockdown has meant many wishes and special family moments have been put on hold. To help raise spirits several Foodstuffs supermarkets put together care packages filled with grocery essentials and treats which went out to 25 families.

New World Eastridge was one of 14 New World and PAKn’SAVE supermarkets who rallied together to make the care packages as part of Foodstuffs’ generous donation. Store owner Kym Samuels said New World Eastridge has been a long-standing supporter of Race4Life, working closely with the organisation for the past seven years and providing food for their annual Race4Life events.

Samuels said everyone in the country has been hit hard by COVID-19, particularly New Zealand’s charities and community support organisations, who continue to see significant and prolonged demand. “We’ve  had the  privilege to continue to trade  throughout lockdown, and it is important we do our bit to give back to the communities we serve."

“There’s no doubt people are really struggling at the moment, and it’s devastating to think that those who are at their most vulnerable are missing out on some really meaningful experiences. We’ve loved working with Viv and her team over the years. It was the least we could do to help raise the spirits and wellbeing of those living with life-limiting illness with a care package that they so deserve.”

One of the recipients, Terry, wrote in and said, that while the COVID-19 restrictions have been necessary, “it means you have limited time to undertake so many things, whilst still feeling well enough to tackle them. The gift basket was a real pick me up.”